Common sensitive plant: declared pest

Page last updated: Saturday, 28 September 2019 - 12:36pm

Please note: This content may be out of date and is currently under review.

Common sensitive plant (Mimosa pudica) is a declared pest in Western Australia (WA). This article describes the nature of the plant with links to requirements land owners/occupiers must adhere to and pest control methods.

Form: sprawling shrub – perennial

Status: not naturalised in WA


A prostrate to semi-erect shrub, 0.2-0.6 metres tall, forming a low tangled mass — stems highly branched and with numerous scattered prickles.

Stems: Reddish brown to purple 30-150 centimetres long, branching profusely and with numerous prickles scattered along their length.

Leaves: Small dark green, bipinnate; consisting of one or two pairs of opposite segments each with about 12 to 25 pairs of opposite oblong or linear pointed leaflets 9-12 millimetres long and 1.5 millimetres wide with hairy margins. Leaves fold against the branchlets when touched and also at night; petioles up to four centimetres long.

Flowers: Fluffy heads of purplish to pinkish flowers, about nine millimetres diameter, borne on prickly stalks 1.2-2.5 centimetres long amongst the leaves.

Fruit: Pods 10-20 millimetres long and three to six millimetres wide, flat containing one to five seeds, pointed at apex and edged with prickles, breaking up into one-seeded segment when ripe.

Seeds: Light brown, flattened with finely granular surface 2.5-3 millimetres long.

Root: Slightly woody branched taproot to one metre, with thin feeding roots bearing nitrogen-fixing nodules.

Agricultural and economic impact

Mostly an environmental weed.

Declared pest category

The Western Australian Organism List (WAOL) contains information on the area(s) in which this pest is declared and the control and keeping categories to which it has been assigned in Western Australia (WA). Search for common sensitive plant in the WAOL using the scientific name Mimosa pudica.

Requirements for land owners/occupiers and other persons

Requirements for land owners/occupiers and other persons if this pest is found can be sourced through the declared plant requirements link.

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MyPestGuide™ Reporter
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Pest and Disease Information Service (PaDIS)
+61 (0)8 9368 3080

Control method

Control methods for this declared plant can be found through the common sensitive plant control link.

Contact information

Pest and Disease Information Service (PaDIS)
+61 (0)8 9368 3080
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