Tribulus terrestris, Puncturevine

Gardens & Landscapes, Invasive Species, Extension Master Gardener February 16, 2012|Print

Invasive Species: Tribulus terrestris, Puncturevine

Puncturevine is an invasive annual low-spreading forb native to the Mediterranean. Leaves are opposite, hairy, 1 to 3 in. (2.5 to 7.6 cm) long, and divided into 8 to 18 oblong leaflets. Flowering occurs from midsummer to frost, when flowers that are five-petaled, yellow, and 0.5 in. (1.27 cm) wide develop singly in the axils of the leaves. Fruit are circular, spiny burs that split into five sections. Burs can cause injury to bicycle tires, bare feet, and even small truck tires. Plants invade roadsides, pastures, fields, and other disturbed areas. Plants are toxic to sheep and other grazers.

What are invasive species, and why should we be concerned about them? 


Taxonomy: Scientific and Common Names for This Species

Sapindales > Zygophyllaceae > Tribulus terrestris L.

Synonym(s): bullhead, caltrop, goathead, Mexican sandbur, puncture vine, Texas sandbur

Tribulus terrestris - USDA PLANTS Profile

Distribution Maps

puncturevine - The reported distribution of this invasive species across the United States (Source: Invasive Plant Atlas of the United States)

Up-to-the-minute distribution maps and why they are important 

Reporting This Invasive Species

What is the best way to report the occurrence of an invasive species? 

 How to report an invasive species sighting to EDDMapS - Early Detection & Distribution Mapping System

EDDMapS - Report an invasive species to EDDMapS.

County Extension Offices - Find your county Extension office on this map provided by USDA.

How to Identify

This invasive species can be identified by looking for the characteristics described in the paragraphs that follow.

Plant

Puncturevine is an annual low-spreading forb.

USDA Agricultural Research Service Archive, USDA Agricultural Research Service, bugwood.org Forest and Kim Starr, Starr Environmental, bugwood.org

Foliage

Leaves are opposite, hairy, 1 to 3 in. (2.5 to 7.6 cm) long, and divided into 8 to 18 oblong leaflets.

Steve Dewey, Utah State University, bugwood.org Steve Dewey, Utah State University, bugwood.org

Flower

Flowering occurs from midsummer to frost, when flowers that are five-petaled, yellow, and 0.5 in. (1.27 cm) wide develop singly in the axils of the leaves.

Steve Dewey, Utah State University, bugwood.org Eric Coombs, Oregon Department of Agriculture, bugwood.org

Fruit

Fruit are circular, spiny burs that split into five sections. Burs can cause injury to bicycle tires, bare feet, and even small truck tires.

Steve Dewey, Utah State University, bugwood.org Bruce Ackley, The Ohio State University, bugwood.org

 

Native Species That Resemble Puncturevine

- Images at invasive.org

   
bugwood.org bugwood.org

 

- Images at invasive.org

   
bugwood.org bugwood.org

 

Additional Images for Puncturevine

puncturevine - Images at invasive.org

 

Learning Resources for Puncturevine

 

Additional Information, Biology, Control and Management Resources

Control and management recommendations vary according to individual circumstances. Location, habitat, weather, and a variety of other conditions are factors that help determine the best treatment choice. To find the safest and most effective treatment for your situation, consult your state's land-grant institution. If you will use chemicals as part of the control process, always refer to the product label  .

United States Land Grant University System - Find your Land Grant University's College of Agriculture, University Cooperative Extension Service, or other related partner on this map provided by USDA.

Invasives Database - TexasInvasives.org

Noxious Weeds - Utah-Idaho Cooperative Weed Management Area (CWMA)

Idaho's Noxious Weeds - Idaho Association of Soil Conservation Districts

Invasive Species Compendium (Beta) - cabi.org

Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER) - USDA Forest Service

Invasive Plants - Victoria Resources Online


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