Puncturevine (Tribulus spp.)


(Tribulus spp.)


  • Yellow, 5 petalled flowers
  • Leaves are opposite, hairy, 1-3 inches long and divided into leaflets
  • Stems are greenish-red, branches spread from the center of the plant, and can spread up to 2m
  • Seed heads are sharp – they can injure bare feet and pets paws or puncture bike tires!

Introduction and spread

  • Spiny seeds can easily embed themselves into bike tires, clothing or pets fur and travel to new areas.

Consequences of invasion

  • Poses a serious threat to agriculture and recreation
  • Quickly develops a deep taproot and aggressively competes for water and nutrients needed by trees, field crops and native plants
  • Can make hay become unusable as sharp spines of seed can injure mouth and digestive track of animals
  • Can be toxic to sheep and cattle, causing nitrate poisoning, blindness and death
  • Can ruin outdoor equipment and the paws of pets

Integrated Pest Management Options

  • Can be easily removed by hand if detected early. Ensure removal of entire taproot and dispose at local landfill. Do not drop any seeds onto the ground
  • Once seed bank has established, monitor and remove plants as they emerge and continue to do so for several years
  • Shallow tilling of seedlings or small plants can be effective in larger areas
  • Make sure to thoroughly check clothing, pets, vehicles and equipment for seeds
  • Report this weed if you see it!
    Play, Clean, Go! Invasive seeds and plant parts can ‘hitch hike’ onto your clothing and gear. Photo LScott

More information available: