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Noxious Weeds


Puncture vine (Tribulus terrestris L.)

Caltrop family (Zygophyllaceae) 

Composite photo of Puncture vine

 

GROWTH HABIT:Mediterranean annual, mat forming, trailing stems to 5 feet (1.5 m) long.
LEAVES: 
Opposite, hairy, divided into 4 to 8 pairs of leaflets. Oval leaflets ¼ to ½ inch (6-12 mm) long.   
FLOWERS:
Yellow with 5 petals in leaf axils, to ½ inch (12 mm) wide.
SEEDS:
Fruits break into 5 sections with 2 to 4 seeds per capsule. Capsules tack-like structures with 2 sharp spins, resembling the head of a goat.
OTHER:
Toxic to livestock in a vegetative condition. Fruits cause mechanical injury. Easily dispersed by vehicles and road grading equipment.
KEY CHARACTERS:
  • Mat forming with opposite, divided and hairy leaves.
  • Seed resembles head of goat.
DISTRIBUTION:
Along roadsides throughout the Owens Valley, especially prolific along Dixon and Barlow lanes – Inyo County