Giant sensitive plant: declared pest

Page last updated: Saturday, 28 September 2019 - 12:30pm

Please note: This content may be out of date and is currently under review.

Giant sensitive plant (Mimosa diplotricha, formerly Mimosa invisa) 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: tree/shrub — perennial

Status: present in WA

Giant sensitive plant is native to the neotropics of South and Central America.


An erect climbing annual or short lived shrub, surviving 18 to 24 months, growing to a height of two to three metres.

Stems: Conspicuously four angled, branching profusely two to four metres long, occasionally six metres, with numerous recurved prickles three to six millimetres long, occurring at intervals on the angles of the stems.

Leaves: Bright green, bipinnate 10 to 20 centimetres long, consisting of four to nine pairs of primary segments, each with 10 to 20 pairs of opposite leaflets without any stalks, 6 to 12 millimetres long by 1.5 millimetres wide. Leaflets fold when touched, and at night.

Flowers: Pinkish violet, numerous in globular heads about 1.2 centimetres diameter, one to three heads arising on separate stalks from the leaf axils. Petal tube four lobed with eight pinkish-violet stamens that protrude beyond the petals.

Fruit: A softly spiny, three to four-seeded, flattened pod, borne in clusters in the leaf axils, each one to 3.5 centimetres long and 6 to 10 millimetres wide, splitting along the valves into one-seeded segments.

Seed: Light brown, glossy, flattened, oval in outline, two to three millimetres long, with a u-shaped mark on each face.

Root: Robust branched taproot to one to two metres, with nitrogen-fixing nodules amongst the fine fixing roots.

Agricultural and economic impact

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 WA. Search for giant sensitive plant in the WAOL using the scientific nameMimosa diplotricha.

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.

Search > detect > report

MyPestGuide™ Reporter
via app or online
(Select 'Send report to MyWeedWatcher' from menu)

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

Control method

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

Contact information

Pest and Disease Information Service (PaDIS)
+61 (0)8 9368 3080
Technical support - MyPestGuide®