Prickly-Leaved Wattle

Also known as:
Prickly Moses

General description

Shrub to small tree. Twigs are ribbed and sparsely to densely hairy. Leaves are spiky, < 17 x 4 mm and reduced to phyllodes. Flowers are pale yellow, grouped on inflorescences extending beyond the leaves, and borne in September – November. Pods are usually straight and < 100 x 4 mm.

What you need to know

To help protect our environment, from 1 September 2021, you:

  • will not be allowed to breed, distribute, release or sell prickly-leaved wattle within the Auckland region.
  • will not be allowed to plant prickly-leaved wattle within the Auckland region, unless you are transferring an existing plant on your land to another location within the boundaries of the same property.
  • must destroy any prickly-leaved wattle on land that you occupy if it has been planted in breach of the above rules and you are directed to do so by an authorised person.

Roadsides, wastelands, scrub, wetland and plantation margins, coastal ecosystems, damp areas.

Seeds dispersed by gravity. Human-mediated dispersal through soil movement.

Can form dense, almost impenetrable stands with little understorey. High invasiveness potential.

Site Management

Follow up treated areas 3 times per year. Crown lift (cut off lower branches) to allow understory plants to establish or to underplant prior to controlling large trees.

Recommended approaches

Physical control

Method: Dig out

Plant parts requiring disposal: Seeds

Disposal options: Trees can be chipped and used as mulch, preferably when not in seed


Biocontrol is currently not available for this species.

Community agrichemical control recommendations

No qualifications
Cut stump and paste freshly cut base of stems with double strength glyphosate gel
Ringbark and paste cut with double strength glyphosate gel

Basic Growsafe certified
Foliar spray seedlings with 200ml glyphosate green per 10L of water
Ringbark and spray cut with 750ml glyphosate green per 1 L of water

Certified Handler/Experienced agrichemical user
Drill and inject trees with 750ml glyphosate green and 10ml penetrant per 1L of water, if safe to do so. Drill 18mm holes (tangentially angled downwards) in a spiral up the trunk. For 50mm stems drill one hole. For 100mm stems drill two holes. For larger stems drill holes 150mm apart.
Foliar spray seedlings with 200ml glyphosate green per 10L of water and 20ml penetrant

Safety notes

Large trees must not be ringbarked or drilled that are closer than 1.5 times the height of the tree from paths, walkways and property.

Trees over 4 metres in height should be removed by a qualified arborist.

CAUTION: When using any herbicide or pesticide please read the label thoroughly to ensure that all instructions and safety requirements are followed.

Similar species

kangaroo acacia
Acacia paradoxa

Kangaroo acacia has thicker leaves and more golden yellow flowers

Search tags

RPMP status

Whole region (Sustained Control)
Hauraki Gulf Controlled Area Notice pest
Prickly-leaved wattle - Main species image