Scientific Name: Tribulus terrestris
Common Names: Puncturevine, Puncture Vine, Goat's Head, Goathead, Caltrop, Bullhead, Texas Sandbur, Mexican Sandbur
Growth Habit: Herb/Forb
Arizona Native Status: Introduced. This naturalized weed is native to the Mediterranean region.
Habitat: Desert, Upland. It grows in open, sandy, weedy areas.
Flower Color: Light yellow
Flowering Season: Spring, Summer, Fall
Height: Trailing up to 5 feet (1.5 m) long
Description: The flowers are up to 1/2 inch (1.3 cm) wide and have 5 oblong to egg-shaped petals and 5 fuzzy, pale green sepals. The flowers are followed by fruits with paired spines. The dry, horned goat head-shaped seeds with their hard, stout spines are painful to step on with bare feet. The leaves are opposite and pinnately compound with an even number of green, oval-shaped, variably hairy leaflets. The stems are prostrate, hairy, and brownish in color.
Edible – The young leaves are edible, but the plants are mainly used for medicinal purposes.
Legal Status – Arizona State-listed Noxious Weed (Prohibited Noxious Weed, Regulated Noxious Weed)
Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Family: Zygophyllaceae – Creosote-bush family
Genus: Tribulus L. – puncturevine
Species: Tribulus terrestris L. – puncturevine
More About This Plant