Puncturevine (Tribulus terrestris)

  • Puncturevine Plant 215x150

Category C Weed

Caltrop family (Zygophyllaceae)

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    • Prostrate; multiple stems that spread radially from crown; up to 3 ft. long (sometimes longer); highly branched, green to reddish-brown and often hairy


      • Opposite, usually hairy, pinnate-compound, 1-2 in. long, with 3-7 pairs of leaflets; leaflets oval and 0.2-0.6 in. long; edges (margins) are smooth


        • Yellow, 0.2-0.6 in. diameter, with 5 petals; arise from leaf axils

        • Fruit is a woody bur that breaks into 5 sections (nutlets) at maturity; each nutlet has 2 stout, spines and contains 3-5 seeds


          • Slender, deep taproot; can associate with nitrogen-fixing bacteria


            • Grows best in dry, sandy soils; often infests roadsides, crop fields and waste areas; known to occur in all Nevada counties

            • Annual; reproduces by seed

            • Also known as goathead, Mexican sandbur, Texas sandbur and tackweed; spines on fruit can cause injury to livestock and humans and can also puncture tires; foliage can be toxic to livestock


              • Frequent hand-removal or tillage prior to seed production

              • Two insect biological control agents are available

              • Apply 2,4-D, glyphosate, dicamba, chlorsulfuron or imazapic to young, actively growing plants


                Puncturevine Plant 215x150
                Mature Plant
                Puncturevine Flower 215x150
                Puncturevine Seedling 215x150
                Puncturevine Seed 215x150
                  Nevada Noxious Weed Field Guide
                Nevada Noxious Weed Guide