Weed of the Month August 2022 : Mysore thorn

Also known as Wait-a-while, this aggressive prickly shrub can form dense thickets on roadsides, creek banks, pasture boundaries and bushland.

Once used as a hedge plant (but no longer able to be sold), Mysore thorn has escaped cultivation and forms dense impenetrable stands that restrict the movement of people, livestock and native animals.

Mysore thorn is a shrub to 4m high, but can also scramble over other vegetation to climb higher.  Its leaves are bipinnate, with each leaf having up to 12 pairs of small, oblong opposite leaflets. Branches are covered in hooked thorns that persist on branches out to the underside of leaves. These quickly catch anyone passing by and can be difficult to remove.

Flowers are pale yellow and arranged in clusters at the tips of branches. These form hairy pods up to 10cm long with a distinct “beak” at one end. The seeds in these pods can remain in the soil for 10 years, but are also spread by birds, rodents and cattle that eat the pods.

Mysore thorn is a priority weed on the North Coast. It must be eradicated when detected but can reshoot vigorously when cut. Follow-up control is essential. It cannot be sold or traded in this region.

Further information and control options are detailed in the NSW WeedWise app, which is free to download, or on the website here: NSW WeedWise. If you find this weed on your property, Council’s Biosecurity Officer is happy to provide advice to help you bring this nasty weed under control.

Click here to find out how to report a weed.

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