Alhagi maurorum Medik.
Camel thorn is a State prohibited weed
State prohibited weeds are the highest category of declared noxious weeds in Victoria. By definition, they are either not yet in Victoria, or are here in small numbers, where their eradication is still possible.
All sightings should be reported to Agriculture Victoria immediately by calling 136 186 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why is it important to report camel thorn sightings to Agriculture Victoria
Camelthorn is usually found along drainage lines and in irrigated pasture. Its vigorous root system can penetrate over 2 m deep, making it strongly competitive with other plants. Lateral roots can grow up to 8 m each year from the parent plant.
Camelthorn has been known to break through sealed bitumen roads, while sharp-tipped spines may pose a danger to stock. A major source of spread is from the movement of root fragments due to cultivation.
The native range of camelthorn spans across eastern Europe, the Middle East and Central Asia. How camel thorn was introduced to Australia is unclear, though it was recorded at Rutherglen in 1915. Isolated infestations are also found in New South Wales, South Australia and Western Australia.
How to identify camel thorn
- Camel thorn is found in the northern parts of Victoria, usually associated with irrigated pastures and neglected areas.
- It is a rigid, much-branched, spiny shrub commonly 25–60 cm tall but can grow to 1.5 m tall.
- Aerial growth dies in autumn and new shoots emerge from roots in spring.
- Leaves are blue-green, arrow-head to oval shaped 0.5–3 cm long, 0.2–1.4 cm wide, often singular; more common on lower branches.
- Stems bear numerous yellow-tipped spines 0.5–3 cm long, 0.2–4 cm wide.
- Flowers are pea-like, 7–10 mm long, brown to red and purple and in clusters of 1–8; in spring to summer. Pods are up to 2.5 cm long and have 1–5 seeds.
What should you do if you find a camel thorn plant?
If you think you have seen camel thorn, please contact Agriculture Victoria on 136 186 or send an email to email@example.com.
Please do not attempt to treat or dispose of this weed yourself. Agriculture Victoria will treat, remove and dispose of camel thorn safely, at no cost to the land owner.