Tribulus terrestris


    Puncturevine (Howard F. Schwartz, Colorado State University,


    Puncturevine seedling (Phil Westra, Colorado State University,


    Puncturevine burrs (Forest and Kim Starr, Starr Environmental,


    • 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


    • 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.