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Parkinsonia aculeata


This perennial tree grows up to 10 metres and is hairless and thorny. Younger branches are bright green, thin, and zigzagged.

Leaves have a short, spine-tipped stalk and are green and flattened. The leaf branches are 20 to 40 centimetres long with tiny oblong leaflets in rows along each side. Leaves are arranged alternately along the stem.

Flowers are yellow, fragrant with 5 petals; found along stalks. It flowers during spring and summer.

Seeds are found in pencil-like pods that are green to brown, 5 to 10 centimetres long with small constrictions between the oval seeds.

Habitat it is found along watercourses, creek banks, floodplains or in gardens. It has a moderate tolerance to salt, and often grows in coastal areas near salt flats and mangroves. It can adapt to a wide range of soil types and flooded country is particularly susceptible to hot fires.

Weed characteristics are fast growing and form dense, often impenetrable, thorny thickets. It can restrict stock access to drinking water and makes mustering impossible. It provides a harbour for feral pigs.

Dispersal seeds have a thick and extremely hard coat and so remain viable for many years.

Declaration Details

This species is a Class 2 declared plant under Queensland legislation and is listed as a Weed of National Significance.

How to act

Mechanical control is most cost effective for initial removal of dense infestations. Windrowing and burning to remove the debris will allow for regeneration of natural vegetation. Parkinsonia is sensitive to hot fires, particularly seedlings and surface seed. Cut stump or basal barking is effective for isolated established plants. Young plants can be physically removed. Foliar spraying is effective when plant is actively growing. Control should be carried out prior to seed set with follow up monitoring and control of emergent growth important.

Refer to Weed Control Methods.


Related information

Parkinsonia © NQ Dry Tropics
Parkinsonia © NQ Dry Tropics
Parkinsonia © NQ Dry Tropics 2011

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