Mimosa pigra

Preferred Scientific Name: Mimosa pigra

Mimosa pigra is a large prickly shrub or small tree that invades floodplains, wetlands, canals and rice paddies.

Clearing mimosa in Africa
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Why is it a problem?


It impacts on irrigation systems and increases management costs in crop
production systems. It also has a negative impact on biodiversity and tourism and is known to reduce fish production. Fishing nets also get caught in the thorns and it restricts access to water.


  • Compromises irrigation systems
  • Loss of land
  • Reduces native biodiversity
  • Negatively impacts livelihoods

What’s the solution?

Manual control

Only mechanical methods that cut plants off at least 10 cm below ground level are effective as the plant resprouts quickly if cut off at ground level. As well as this, a variety of pesticides effectively control the weed if applied repeatedly.

Biological control

Biocontrol research has unearthed an insect from the weed’s native range that only feed on Mimosa pigra. The adults feed on the leaves while the larvae develop on the roots. Fungal pathogens have also been introduced as biocontrol agents as they cause the weed to die back.

Fact file

Name Mimosa pigra


Asia, Africa, North/South/Central America & Oceania

For more information on distribution, view the full datasheet available here



Natural enemies

A variety of seed-feeding bruchids and fungal pathogens from the weeds native range


Spreads rapidly and is tolerant of control measures

Likelihood of entry

Difficult to detect and control; high risk of accidental introduction



Plant type


Further reading

Visit our online resource of research and full text articles and journals
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