Parkinsonia, Jerusalem thorn
Parkinsonia aculeata, Fam. Caesalpinaceae
A shrub or small tree 6-10m tall, with stout spines that are modified leaf rachises; usually multi-stemmed with smooth slender zig-zagging green stems.
Restricted invasive plants Category 3
Plants declared invasive under the Biosecurity Act 2014, that are present in QLD. Not to be distributed or disposed of.
Thirty-two WONS (Weeds of National Significance) have been identified because of their impact on primary production and the environment, potential for spread and socioeconomic impacts.
|Form or habit:||Shrub, Small tree|
Compound, alternate bipinnate, but resembling 2-6 simply pinnate leaves borne on a 2-17mm long spine; secondary axis winged up to 400 x 2.5mm with numerous small opposite or alternate obovate to oblong leaflets, up to 9 x 3mm. Stipules absent or sometimes present as sharp, recurved spines 5-15mm long.
Yellow, Red, Orange
|Flower description:||Somewhat orchid-like, about 20mm across, with 5 almost-equal yellow petals; one with an orange or red spot or all orange; borne on long slender drooping axillary racemes; fragrant.|
|Fruit description:||Slender pale brown pods 30-150 x 4-8mm, narrowed between the widely separated hard oval seeds about 8 x 4mm, plump and dark brown, usually 1-4 per pod but sometimes up to 11.|
|Food source for:|
|Toxicity:||No toxicity known|
|Notes:||Spread by: pods float in water; contaminated soil on animals and vehicles; birds; suckers. Invades/threats: creekline vegetation, flood plains, stock watering points, grazing areas. Notes: Introduced as a garden ornamental; now naturalised in many areas of Queensland. In this region it is known to occur in the Gregory River Catchment, Whitsunday. Often forms dense thickets blocking access to water and mustering points. Once established, plants withstand long periods of both drought and water-logging. A mature tree may produce thousands of seeds with a very long viability. Suckering and regeneration from seedlings makes mechanical control ineffective. Category 3 restricted invasive plant under the Biosecurity Act 2014, it must not be given away, sold, or released into the environment without a permit. The Act requires everyone to take all reasonable and practical steps to minimise the risks associated with invasive plants and animals under their control. This is called a general biosecurity obligation (GBO).|
|Information sources:||Mackay Regional Pest Management Group (2018) Weeds of the Mackay Whitsunday Region Second Edition.|