Pest: Puncturevine (Tribulus terrestris)

Pest Type: Annual Broadleaf Weed

Major Identifying Features: Grows low to ground, forms a dense 2-5 feet wide mat, stems radiate out from center, hairy opposite leaves, 4-8 leaflets, yellow flowers with 5 petals, spiny seed pot with 5 seeds

Life Cycle: Summer annual, germinates in the spring and summer from seeds (from previous year), need moisture and heat in order to germinate, start flowering after 3 weeks, seeds remain in soil up to 5 years

Pest Rating: Moderate

Management Rating: Moderate

Host/Season/Outbreak Information: Can be found widely in California, thrives in hot and dry conditions in summer and spring

Damage Information: Spiny seed capsules can injure people, animals and puncture tires, toxic to sheep, problem in orchards, pastures, turf and along roadsides and ditch banks, produces 200-5000 seeds, competes for water with deep taproot

Management Options: Prevention by reducing amount of seeds in soil by removing plants/seeds, mechanical control by hoeing and hand removal, mulching, biological control with Microlarinus ssp. weevils (works well when weeds are water stressed), chemical control is generally not necessary unless it is large area with heavy infestation



Dreistadt, Steve H., and Jack Kelly. Clark. Pests of Landscape Trees and Shrubs: An Integrated Pest Management Guide. Oakland, CA: U of California, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, 1994. Print.


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