Tribulus terrestris L.

Life cycle

Prostrate, mat-forming summer annual.

puncturevine seedling
Puncturevine seedling.


Opposite, even pinnately compound, with many small, oblong leaflets.

puncturevine leaf
Punturevine leaf.


Prostrate, covered with stiff hairs and branching in all directions, forming circular mats.

Flowers and fruit

Flowers are small with five yellow petals. Pod-like fruit are woody with five triangular burs and sharp spines. Spines are stout enough to puncture tires.

puncturevine flower puncturevine fruit
Puncturevine flower (left) and fruit (right).



Print a PDF of this page: Puncturevine

Back to identifying Christmas tree weeds.

The MSU IPM Program maintains this site as an access point to pest management information at MSU. The IPM Program is administered within the Department of Entomology, fueled by research from the AgBioResearch, delivered to citizens through MSU Extension, and proud to be a part of Project GREEEN.