Brush wattle
Fabaceae - Paraserianthes lophantha
BioSecurity

What does it look like?

Brush wattle is a short-lived tree, usually 5-10m tall.  It has densely hairy twigs and bronze, hairy young shoots.  Leaves are 20-30cm long, frond-like, alternate, and twice divided along the midrib.  It has many tiny green-yellow flowers from May to August.  The flower heads resemble a bottle brush, and are followed by flat, green to brown seed pods, which contain 9-11 hard-coated black seeds about 7mm long.

Brush wattle prefers disturbed open land, especially scrubland, riverbanks, gumland, and coastal sites.  It can persist in low forest for many years but does not tolerate deep shade.  It forms tall, rapidly establishing stands that over-top low-growing vegetation, but native forest species establish under wattle so impacts usually occur in open, low-growing vegetation.

Why is it a problem?

It is fast growing and maturing, and produces many long-lived seeds.  Tolerates high to low rainfall, poor soils, salt, wind and low fertility (fixes nitrogen). Plants seed prolifically and seed is likely to be viable for at least 20 years.

Control Methods

Herbicide control

  • Cut larger trees and stump treat with metsulffuron-methyl 600g/kg (5g/L) or triclopyr 600 EC (50ml/L).
  • Spray in spring-summer with glyphosate (10ml/L) or triclopyr 600 EC (30ml/10L).

Physical control

  • Hand pull or dig out small plants with minimal soil disturbance.

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