Tribulus terrestris

(Puncture Vine)

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Tribulus terrestris, Overland Trail Recreation Area, Sterling, Logan Co. 7209

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Tribulus terrestris, Overland Trail Recreation Area, Sterling, Logan Co. 7219

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Tribulus terrestris, Overland Trail Recreation Area, Sterling, Logan Co. 7212-2

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Tribulus terrestris, Overland Trail Recreation Area, Sterling, Logan Co. 7212

Scientific Name Tribulus terrestris USDA PLANTS Symbol TRTE
Common Name Puncture Vine, Goathead ITIS Taxonomic Serial No. 29057
Family Zygophyllaceae (Caltrop) SEINet
Reference
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Description Life zones and habitat: Plains and foothills (3500 to 7500 ft.); often in sandy soils along roadsides, disturbed areas and cultivated fields.
Plant: Low-growing, prostrate annual; stems with long, silky hairs, branched from the base and forming mats to 3 ft. wide.
Leaves: Opposite, even-pinnate, 3/4 to 2 inches long overall with 3 to 9 pairs of elliptic to oblong or ovate leaflets 1/8 to 1/2-inch long; one of each pair of leaves smaller or missing, lowest pair of leaflets unequal in size; upper leaf surface mostly smooth, lower surface and margins with long silky hairs.
Inflorescence: Solitary, small (~3/8-inch across) flowers arising from axils of smaller or absent leaves; 5 sepals narrowly lanceolate-ovate; 5 yellow petals and 10 stamens with yellow anthers.
Bloom Period: June to September.
Fruit: Hard bur with two larger spines, the bane of bicycle riders.
References: "Flora of Colorado" by Jennifer Ackerfield, SEINet and Colorado Department of Agriculture.
BONAP Distribution Map

Colorado Status:
Introduced
Noxious Weed

© Tom Lebsack 2022

Banner photo: Ten Mile Range and Rhodiola integrifolia (King’s Crown) in Summit County