Mesquite

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Prosopis glandulosa, P. pallida and P. velutina

Description

This is a perennial tree which grows up to 15 metres high. It is thorny and usually has a single main stem and spreading canopy.

Leaves are fern-like and are dark green, but can vary to bluish-green. Each leaf has up to 4 pairs of leaf branches, with 6 to 18 pairs of leaflets on each branch. Leaves are arranged on alternate areas of the stem.

Flowers are small greenish-cream and grow near the ends of the branches in wattlelike spikes which are 5 to 12 centimetres long. It flowers in autumn and winter.

Seeds are 10 to 20 centimetre long pods, straight to slightly curved and smooth. When ripe the pods are straw-coloured, or purplish in some species. Each pod contains between 5 to 20 hard seeds.

Habitat it is found along waterways, floodplains, roadsides and in horse paddocks.

Weed characteristics can out-compete other vegetation, interfere with mustering and block access to watering places. Sparse stands will often form into impenetrable thickets.

Dispersal happens when seeds are spread in the faeces of animals.

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. Cut stump or basal barking is effective for isolated established plants. Young plants can be physically removed. Foliar spraying is most 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. Fire can be a valuable tool to stimulate the seed bank so seedlings can be controlled with herbicide.

Refer to Weed Control Methods.

References

Related information

Mesquite © NQ Dry Tropics 2011
Mesquite © NQ Dry Tropics 2011

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