(Prosopis species)

Mesquite, © Jorge Vallmitjana.

Status of mesquite in Tasmania

  • Mesquite is a declared weed in Tasmania under the Tasmanian Weed Management Act 1999. The importation, sale and distribution of mesquite are prohibited in Tasmania.
  • Mesquite is also a Weed of National Significance (WONS).
  • The legal responsibilities of landholders and other stakeholders in dealing with mesquite are laid out in the mesquite Statutory Weed Management Plan.

What does mesquite look like?

  • Mesquite species can be multi-stemmed shrubs growing to 3 - 5 metres with branches drooping to ground level or single-trunked trees to 10 metres. The branches have a characteristic zig-zag character. The leaves are fern-like and occur at the point where the branch zig-zag changes direction. The branches also carry thorns. The greenish cream-yellow flowers occur in a cylindrical-shaped spike. The seed pod can be up to 20 cm long.
  • Spread is via ornamental plantings and seed. Seeds are spread by animals eating the seed pods and dispersing the seeds

Impacts of mesquite

  • Mesquite is a serious weed of pastoral country and native grasslands where it contributes to loss of biodiversity, increased rates of land degradation and provides refuge for feral animals. Thorns are dangerous and may harm people, animals and equipment.

Where does mesquite occur?

  • Mesquite is a native of South, North and Central America. In Australia, mesquite has naturalised in the Northern Territory, Western Australia and Queensland.
  • Mesquite does not occur in Tasmania.

What you need to do

  • If you locate mesquite anywhere in Tasmania, or if you find a plant that you think could be mesquite, immediately contact Biosecurity Tasmania on 03 6165 3777 to report this weed.

See also
Mesquite Statutory Weed Management Plan
Weed Links and Resources

Other useful links
Pest Genie

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