Puncturevine

(Tribulus terrestris)

 

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© Eric Coombs

Puncturevine (Tribulus terrestris) in a summer annual forb, and is native to Europe. The plant is prostrate or ascending, spreading into mat forming cover. The stems are trailing and can grow to 1 1/2 to 5 feet long. Leaves are formed into leaflets, with each leaflet containing 5 to 8 oval leaves. The leaves are hairy and opposite. The flowers appear in July through October. They have five petals and are yellow in color. Each flower node will produce a fruit, at maturity the fruit will break into 5 seed capsules. Each seed capsule will produce 2-4 seeds. Each capsule is hard and contains many spines, almost tack like. The shape of the seed capsule has been referred to as a “goathead.” The seeds will propagate after the first moisture of the spring and then any wet period following. Seeds can stay viable for 4 to 5 years. 

Puncturevine Factsheet pdf file