Senegalia insuavis (cha-om, climbing wattle) is a woody climber, with copious, scattered prickles, native to South Asia and Southeast Asia. The soft new shoots are commonly used for culinary purposes in Asian cooking, and it is sometimes used as a hedge-row shrub. It is now reported to be naturalized in a number of locations, and is targeted for eradication in Australia for its ability to form dense thickets and potential to compete with native plants and desirable pasture vegetation. It has not been reported as naturalized in the Hawaiian Islands to date.
High Risk Traits:
- Thrives and can spread in regions with tropical climates
- Broad elevation range (>1000 m)
- Reported to be naturalized in India, Thailand, and Australia, but not in the Hawaiian Islands to date
- A prevention and eradication target in Australia due to its potential to form dense thickets and outcompetes native plants and desirable pasture vegetation.
- Covered in numerous prickles.
- Potentially toxic to animals at certain stages of growth.
- Climbing and potentially smothering growth habit.
- Reported to form prickly thickets, which can limit the movement of people and animals.
- Nitrogen-fixing (can modify soil nutrient levels).
- Reproduces by seeds and vegetatively by stem fragments.
- Reported to produce seeds within one year.
- Seeds reported to be dispersed by cattle, water, wind, possibly birds, and through intentional cultivation
- Stem-fragments dispersed by water.
- Seeds may be long-lived and could form a persistent seed bank.
Low Risk Traits:
- Palatable, and used as fodder (although prickles may discourage browsing)
- Valued for edible leaf shoots.
- Reported to be out-crossing and incapable of self-fertilization.
- Herbicides may provide effective control.