Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Tribulus terrestris
puncture vine

Distribution: Occurring chiefly east of the Cascades crest in Washington; British Columbia to California, east across North America to the Atlantic Coast.

Habitat: Noxious weed of sandy soils and roadsides.

Flowers: May-September

Origin: Introduced from Europe and northern Africa

Growth Duration: Annual

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Stiff-hairy, prostrate annual, forming mats 3-10 dm. broad.


Leaves opposite, pinnate; leaflets 4-8 pairs, obliquely oblong-ovate, 5-15 mm. long; stipules 1-2 mm. long.


Flowers solitary on short, axillary peduncles; sepals 5; petals 5, yellow, 3-5 mm. long, attached at the edge of a 10-lobed disk; stamens 10, borne within the disk; style 1, stigma 5-lobed.


Fruit depressed, deeply 5-lobed, separating at maturity into 5 hard, 2-spined segments, the spines 2-6 mm. long, with numerous smaller spines that form a broad, dorsal, longitudinal row.

Accepted Name:
Tribulus terrestris L.
Publication: Sp. Pl. 1: 387, 1753.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
(none provided)
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Tribulus terrestris in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database

WA Flora Checklist: Tribulus terrestris checklist entry

OregonFlora: Tribulus terrestris information

E-Flora BC: Tribulus terrestris atlas page

CalPhotos: Tribulus terrestris photos

31 photographs:
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