Dormancy

    Puncturevine

    Tribulus terrestris

    puncturevine

    Puncturevine (Howard F. Schwartz, Colorado State University, Bugwood.org

    puncturevine

    Puncturevine seedling (Phil Westra, Colorado State University, Bugwood.org)

    puncturevine

    Puncturevine burrs (Forest and Kim Starr, Starr Environmental, Bugwood.org)

    Description

    • low-growing matted plant with tan-colored stems that radiate out from a central point
    • leaves are opposite and compound, with four to eight pairs of oval-shaped leaflets
    • bright yellow flowers have five teardrop-shaped petals; flowers are up to 1/2 inch in diameter
    • spiny seedpods change color from green to brown as they mature

    Location

    • commonly grows in planting beds

    Life Cycle

    • summer annual that germinates late spring to early summer and produces flowers within 3 to 4 weeks followed by seedpods 2 weeks after flowers
    • flowers only open in the morning
    • puncturevine continues to produce flowers and seeds until fall frost; seeds remain dormant at least 1 year

    IPM Recommendations

    • Hand-pull plants in planting beds prior to seed maturation; rake or sweep up any dropped burrs (seedpods).
    • Puncturevine thrives in compacted soil; avoid or reduce soil compaction by aeration or preventative methods.
    • Apply a mulch layer 3 inches deep on planting beds to reduce seed germination.
    • Apply an appropriate pre-emergent herbicide prior to seed germination or apply an appropriate post-emergent herbicide directly to target seedlings in planting beds.