Aka Goatheads, Texas Sandburs, Sandburs, or Jamaica Feverplants
Stepping on a Puncturevine bur is an experience that you will not soon forget. This summer annual vine is a mat-forming, broadleaf weed that's prevalent in areas with hot summers. Each spiny bur or seed pod from the Puncturevine (Tribulus terrestris) contains 20 seeds equipped with long sharp spines. Each of these spines is capable of puncturing a bike or ATV tire or going through a boot, so you can imagine how easily they slice through skin. It takes only 3 weeks for this extremely hardy weed to sprout and make seeds. Seeds may lay dormant for up to 20 years until the right conditions come along for them to grow. Any established Puncturevine will continue to grow and spread until frost comes along - unless you stop it..
These vines are notoriously difficult to fight, but if you are lucky enough to can catch them young and in moist soil they're fairly easy to pull up. Otherwise, they'll need to be hoed or dug up. Once they flower and develop seed burs there are three methods of control:
- Eradication by herbicides - Shop All Weed Control
- Spot use of flame (Weed Dragon) - using great caution!
- Biological control with Puncturevine Weevils (Microlarinus lareynii and Microlarinus lypriformis) - This is a long-term control (2-5 years for full efficacy). It is still being researched and is currently unavailable for retail sale.