Puncturevine, also known as “Goatheads” is an annual that grows fast in dense, flat mats ranging from 2’ to 5’. It is a noxious weed in Nevada. It grows from the tap root on long trailing, highly branched stems. The leaves are 1” to 2” long and hairy. The flowers are tiny and bright yellow. They have 5 petals. Puncturevine grows in a variety of soil types. It can be found in croplands, pastures, roadsides and home landscapes. The plant spreads by seeds. The seed pods are a hard pod with four sharp points that can injury people, pets, horses, and puncture tires of bicycles. The sharp points are arranged so that a spike is usually pointing up. A plant can produce 200 to 5,000 seeds a year.
How to remove:
For homeowners, hand-pulling is best when the vines are sufficiently long, but before the plant flowers and produces seeds. Hoeing can also kill an existing plant. Tilling may bury seeds that will then be favorable for propagation.
For further information, contact the Cooperative Extension at 702.397.2604
Nevada Noxious Weed Guide
University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Fact Sheet
University of California Integrated Pest Management
Post written by:
Peggy Raines – Horticulture Instructor
UNCE Northeast Clark County