Puncture vine (Tribulus terrestris)

Quick facts and control methods

With its sharp, thorny burs that poke into tires, paws, and bare feet, puncture vine is painfully familiar to gardeners in much of the country. An annual weed often found in dry areas, it forms a dense, low mat 5 to 15 feet in diameter.

Hoe or dig plants before they can set seed, cutting below the crown to prevent regrowth. Once you've removed puncture vine growing in lawns, improve the soil with compost and sow grass seed in bare spots to prevent the weeds from re-establishing.

For chemical control, pre-emergence herbicides containing trifluralin or pendimethalin may be used on some lawn grasses and ornamentals. For post-emergence control in lawns, use a selective herbicide containing MCPA, MCPP, and dicamba.

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