Invasive Species Compendium

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Datasheet

Tribulus cistoides
(false puncture vine)

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Datasheet

Tribulus cistoides (false puncture vine)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 12 October 2018
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Pest
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Tribulus cistoides
  • Preferred Common Name
  • false puncture vine
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •         Class: Dicotyledonae
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • The invasive potential of T. cistoides appears to be mainly determined by movement of the spiny fruits on farm machinery, livestock, vehicles (especially bicycles) and the clothes and shoes of humans. Due to the preference for growth in sandy, coasta...

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Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Tribulus cistoides (false puncture vine); flowers and leaves. nr coast, Kure Atoll, Hawaii, USA. May 2001.
TitleFlowers and leaves
CaptionTribulus cistoides (false puncture vine); flowers and leaves. nr coast, Kure Atoll, Hawaii, USA. May 2001.
Copyright©Forest & Kim Starr-2001 - CC BY 4.0
Tribulus cistoides (false puncture vine); flowers and leaves. nr coast, Kure Atoll, Hawaii, USA. May 2001.
Flowers and leavesTribulus cistoides (false puncture vine); flowers and leaves. nr coast, Kure Atoll, Hawaii, USA. May 2001.©Forest & Kim Starr-2001 - CC BY 4.0
Tribulus cistoides (false puncture vine); flower and leaves. Abandoned runway Eastern Island, Midway Atoll, Hawaii, USA. June 2008.
TitleFlower and leaves
CaptionTribulus cistoides (false puncture vine); flower and leaves. Abandoned runway Eastern Island, Midway Atoll, Hawaii, USA. June 2008.
Copyright©Forest & Kim Starr-2008 - CC BY 4.0
Tribulus cistoides (false puncture vine); flower and leaves. Abandoned runway Eastern Island, Midway Atoll, Hawaii, USA. June 2008.
Flower and leavesTribulus cistoides (false puncture vine); flower and leaves. Abandoned runway Eastern Island, Midway Atoll, Hawaii, USA. June 2008.©Forest & Kim Starr-2008 - CC BY 4.0
Tribulus cistoides (false puncture vine); flower and leaves. Abandoned runway Eastern Island, Midway Atoll, Hawaii, USA. June 2008.
TitleFlower and leaves
CaptionTribulus cistoides (false puncture vine); flower and leaves. Abandoned runway Eastern Island, Midway Atoll, Hawaii, USA. June 2008.
Copyright©Forest & Kim Starr-2008 - CC BY 4.0
Tribulus cistoides (false puncture vine); flower and leaves. Abandoned runway Eastern Island, Midway Atoll, Hawaii, USA. June 2008.
Flower and leavesTribulus cistoides (false puncture vine); flower and leaves. Abandoned runway Eastern Island, Midway Atoll, Hawaii, USA. June 2008.©Forest & Kim Starr-2008 - CC BY 4.0
Tribulus cistoides (false puncture vine); close view of flower. Hardpan SW Inland, Laysan, Hawaii, USA. September 2013.
TitleFlower
CaptionTribulus cistoides (false puncture vine); close view of flower. Hardpan SW Inland, Laysan, Hawaii, USA. September 2013.
Copyright©Forest & Kim Starr-2013 - CC BY 4.0
Tribulus cistoides (false puncture vine); close view of flower. Hardpan SW Inland, Laysan, Hawaii, USA. September 2013.
FlowerTribulus cistoides (false puncture vine); close view of flower. Hardpan SW Inland, Laysan, Hawaii, USA. September 2013.©Forest & Kim Starr-2013 - CC BY 4.0
Tribulus cistoides (false puncture vine); habit, throughout a Laysan albatross colony (Phoebastria immutabilis). Northeast Eastern Island, Midway Atoll, Hawaii, USA. April 2015.
TitleInvasive habit
CaptionTribulus cistoides (false puncture vine); habit, throughout a Laysan albatross colony (Phoebastria immutabilis). Northeast Eastern Island, Midway Atoll, Hawaii, USA. April 2015.
Copyright©Forest & Kim Starr-2015 - CC BY 4.0
Tribulus cistoides (false puncture vine); habit, throughout a Laysan albatross colony (Phoebastria immutabilis). Northeast Eastern Island, Midway Atoll, Hawaii, USA. April 2015.
Invasive habitTribulus cistoides (false puncture vine); habit, throughout a Laysan albatross colony (Phoebastria immutabilis). Northeast Eastern Island, Midway Atoll, Hawaii, USA. April 2015.©Forest & Kim Starr-2015 - CC BY 4.0
Tribulus cistoides (false puncture vine); cliffside habit. Moku Manu, Oahu, Hawaii, USA. February 2006.
TitleHabit
CaptionTribulus cistoides (false puncture vine); cliffside habit. Moku Manu, Oahu, Hawaii, USA. February 2006.
Copyright©Forest & Kim Starr-2006 - CC BY 4.0
Tribulus cistoides (false puncture vine); cliffside habit. Moku Manu, Oahu, Hawaii, USA. February 2006.
HabitTribulus cistoides (false puncture vine); cliffside habit. Moku Manu, Oahu, Hawaii, USA. February 2006.©Forest & Kim Starr-2006 - CC BY 4.0
Tribulus cistoides (false puncture vine); trailing branch. Abandoned runwa,y Eastern Island, Midway Atoll, Hawaii, USA. June 2008.
TitleHabit
CaptionTribulus cistoides (false puncture vine); trailing branch. Abandoned runwa,y Eastern Island, Midway Atoll, Hawaii, USA. June 2008.
Copyright©Forest & Kim Starr-2008 - CC BY 4.0
Tribulus cistoides (false puncture vine); trailing branch. Abandoned runwa,y Eastern Island, Midway Atoll, Hawaii, USA. June 2008.
HabitTribulus cistoides (false puncture vine); trailing branch. Abandoned runwa,y Eastern Island, Midway Atoll, Hawaii, USA. June 2008.©Forest & Kim Starr-2008 - CC BY 4.0
Tribulus cistoides (false puncture vine); mat forming habit. SE Inland, Laysan, Hawaii, USA. September 2013.
TitleHabit
CaptionTribulus cistoides (false puncture vine); mat forming habit. SE Inland, Laysan, Hawaii, USA. September 2013.
Copyright©Forest & Kim Starr-2013 - CC BY 4.0
Tribulus cistoides (false puncture vine); mat forming habit. SE Inland, Laysan, Hawaii, USA. September 2013.
HabitTribulus cistoides (false puncture vine); mat forming habit. SE Inland, Laysan, Hawaii, USA. September 2013.©Forest & Kim Starr-2013 - CC BY 4.0
Tribulus cistoides (false puncture vine); spiny seed capsule. Hardpan SW Inland, Laysan, Hawaii, USA. September 2013.
TitleSeed capsule
CaptionTribulus cistoides (false puncture vine); spiny seed capsule. Hardpan SW Inland, Laysan, Hawaii, USA. September 2013.
Copyright©Forest & Kim Starr-2013 - CC BY 4.0
Tribulus cistoides (false puncture vine); spiny seed capsule. Hardpan SW Inland, Laysan, Hawaii, USA. September 2013.
Seed capsuleTribulus cistoides (false puncture vine); spiny seed capsule. Hardpan SW Inland, Laysan, Hawaii, USA. September 2013.©Forest & Kim Starr-2013 - CC BY 4.0
Tribulus cistoides (false puncture vine); many seeds on ground, with two seedlings germinating. Moku Manu, Oahu, Hawaii, USA. February 2006.
TitleSeedlings
CaptionTribulus cistoides (false puncture vine); many seeds on ground, with two seedlings germinating. Moku Manu, Oahu, Hawaii, USA. February 2006.
Copyright©Forest & Kim Starr-2006 - CC BY 4.0
Tribulus cistoides (false puncture vine); many seeds on ground, with two seedlings germinating. Moku Manu, Oahu, Hawaii, USA. February 2006.
SeedlingsTribulus cistoides (false puncture vine); many seeds on ground, with two seedlings germinating. Moku Manu, Oahu, Hawaii, USA. February 2006.©Forest & Kim Starr-2006 - CC BY 4.0
Tribulus cistoides (false puncture vine); many seeds embedded in a wheelbarrow tyre. Pier on Eastern Island, Midway Atoll, Hawaii, USA. April 2008.
TitleSeeds
CaptionTribulus cistoides (false puncture vine); many seeds embedded in a wheelbarrow tyre. Pier on Eastern Island, Midway Atoll, Hawaii, USA. April 2008.
Copyright©Forest & Kim Starr-2008 - CC BY 4.0
Tribulus cistoides (false puncture vine); many seeds embedded in a wheelbarrow tyre. Pier on Eastern Island, Midway Atoll, Hawaii, USA. April 2008.
SeedsTribulus cistoides (false puncture vine); many seeds embedded in a wheelbarrow tyre. Pier on Eastern Island, Midway Atoll, Hawaii, USA. April 2008.©Forest & Kim Starr-2008 - CC BY 4.0

Identity

Top of page

Preferred Scientific Name

  • Tribulus cistoides L.

Preferred Common Name

  • false puncture vine

Other Scientific Names

  • Kallstroemia cistoides (L.) Endl.
  • Tribulus terrestris var. cistoides (L.) Oliv.

International Common Names

  • English: caltrop; Jamaica feverplant
  • Spanish: tribulus

Local Common Names

  • Australia: bendy-eye; bindii; bull's head; catshead; double gee; rock rose; yellow vine
  • Kiribati: Te maukinikini
  • Lesser Antilles: burnut; carpet weed; herbe soleil; herse; Jamaica buttercup; kill bukra; Kingston buttercup; Poupyé; Poupyé bòlanmè; Pourpier; Pourpier bord de mer; Turkey blossom; Zèb solèy
  • USA: burnut
  • USA/Hawaii: carpet weed; false puncture vine; nohonohu; nohu
  • Venezuela: abrojo; flor amarilla

EPPO code

  • TRBCI (Tribulus cistoides)

Summary of Invasiveness

Top of page The invasive potential of T. cistoides appears to be mainly determined by movement of the spiny fruits on farm machinery, livestock, vehicles (especially bicycles) and the clothes and shoes of humans. Due to the preference for growth in sandy, coastal habitats, invasion of similar habits in the tropics and sub-tropics is feasible through the spread of seed by ocean currents, a distribution mechanism hypothesized for its colonization of Hawaii. Florida's Exotic Pest Plant Council has rated T. cistoides as a category II weed, i.e. a species that has shown a potential to disrupt native plant communities but has not yet demonstrated disruption of natural Florida communities.

Taxonomic Tree

Top of page
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •             Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •                 Class: Dicotyledonae
  •                     Order: Geraniales
  •                         Family: Zygophyllaceae
  •                             Genus: Tribulus
  •                                 Species: Tribulus cistoides

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

Top of page Tribulus, a genus of about 12 species, is one of about 25 genera in the Zygophyllaceae family. Tribulus is from the Latin 'tribo', meaning 'to tear', and was the Latin name for 'caltrop', referring to the similarity in shape between the fruit of the plant and the spiked metal ball used in medieaval warfare as a weapon thrown under the feet of horses.

Description

Top of page T. cistoides is variously recorded as an annual or rarely biennial herb in East Africa (El Hadidi, 1985), a perennial or rarely annual in Mozambique (Exell et al., 1963) and a perennial in the Lesser Antilles (Fournet and Hammerton, 1991) and Australia (Parsons and Cuthbertson, 1992; Newbould, 1998). It has a well developed tap root and the stems tend to grow along the ground, forming mats 0.6 to 5 metres in diameter in Australia (Newbould, 1998) and of considerable size near the leeward coasts of Hawaii (Pope, 1968). The following description of T. cistoides is primarily based on that given by Exell et al. (1963) for Mozambique and El Hadidi (1985) for East Africa.

It is a diffusely procumbent herb, having stems that are pubescent (with spreading or appressed hairs) when young but often glabrescent (becoming glabrous when mature). The leaves are opposite and of unequal size, the larger up to 10 cm long with up to nine pairs of leaflets and the smaller up to 6 cm long with five pairs of leaflets. The leaflets are 2-7 mm long, obliquely oblong to obovate-oblong, rarely elliptic, usually obtuse and mucronate but also sometimes acute, silky pubescent beneath and pubescent or glabrous on the upper surface. Stipules are ovate-lanceolate, 5-8 mm long, 2 mm wide and subulate (awl-shaped). The flowers are solitary in the axils of smaller leaves, up to 20 mm across (30 mm or more according to Newbould (1998) and Holm et al. (1977)) and with pedicels 15-30 mm long. The five sepals are 5-12 mm long and deciduous. The five petals are bright yellow, broadly cuneate, 8-10 x 4-5 mm (or 20 x 10-20 mm in Mozambique). Stamens are 8-10 mm long in two whorls. The ovary is 1-2 mm in diameter and the style is conspicuous, elongated cylindrical, 2-4 mm long. The fruit is disc-shaped with a stalk 20-30 cm long. The fruit (sometimes referred to as a burr) breaks up into four or five wedge-shaped cocci (segments), each with two lateral spines 5-10 mm long and two basal spines 2 mm long. Each segment contains 1-4 seeds (Newbould, 1998).

Plant Type

Top of page Annual
Broadleaved
Herbaceous
Perennial
Seed propagated

Distribution

Top of page It has a latitudinal range from 32°N to 22°S and grows mostly along tropical coasts (Holm et al., 1977). Fournet and Hammerton (1991) state that T. cistoides is pantropical.

Distribution Table

Top of page

The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Continent/Country/RegionDistributionLast ReportedOriginFirst ReportedInvasiveReferenceNotes

Asia

ChinaPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-HainanPresentMissouri Botanical Garden, 2003
-YunnanPresentMissouri Botanical Garden, 2003
IndiaPresentMissouri Botanical Garden, 2003
IndonesiaPresentHolm et al., 1977
Sri LankaPresentMissouri Botanical Garden, 2003
TaiwanPresentHuang and Hsieh, 1994; Missouri Botanical Garden, 2003

Africa

Cape VerdePresentExell et al., 1963
EritreaPresentHadidi, 1985
KenyaPresentHadidi, 1985
MadagascarPresentHadidi, 1985; Holm et al., 1977; Missouri Botanical Garden, 2003
MauritiusPresentHolm et al., 1977
MozambiquePresentHadidi, 1985; Exell et al., 1963
TanzaniaPresentHadidi, 1985
-ZanzibarPresentHadidi, 1985

North America

MexicoPresentHolm et al., 1977; Missouri Botanical Garden, 2003
USAPresentHolm et al., 1979
-AlabamaPresentParsons and Cuthbertson, 1992
-FloridaPresent Invasive Parsons and Cuthbertson, 1992; USDA-NRCS, 2002
-GeorgiaPresentParsons and Cuthbertson, 1992; USDA-NRCS, 2002
-HawaiiPresentParsons and Cuthbertson, 1992; Wagner et al., 1999; USDA-NRCS, 2002
-LouisianaPresentParsons and Cuthbertson, 1992; USDA-NRCS, 2002
-MississippiPresentParsons and Cuthbertson, 1992
-TexasPresentParsons and Cuthbertson, 1992; USDA-NRCS, 2002

Central America and Caribbean

AnguillaPresentFournet and Hammerton, 1991
Antigua and BarbudaPresentFournet and Hammerton, 1991
BahamasPresentBennett and Baranowski, 1981
Dominican RepublicPresentHolm et al., 1979; Missouri Botanical Garden, 2003
GrenadaPresentFournet and Hammerton, 1991
GuatemalaPresentMissouri Botanical Garden, 2003
HondurasPresentMissouri Botanical Garden, 2003
JamaicaPresentHolm et al., 1977
MartiniquePresentFournet and Hammerton, 1991
MontserratPresentFournet and Hammerton, 1991
PanamaPresentMissouri Botanical Garden, 2003
Puerto RicoPresentHolm et al., 1977; USDA-NRCS, 2002
Saint Kitts and NevisPresentSchotman, 1989
Trinidad and TobagoPresentFournet and Hammerton, 1991
United States Virgin IslandsPresentUSDA-NRCS, 2002

South America

BoliviaPresentMissouri Botanical Garden, 2003
ColombiaPresentHolm et al., 1977; Missouri Botanical Garden, 2003
EcuadorPresentMissouri Botanical Garden, 2003
-Galapagos IslandsPresentMissouri Botanical Garden, 2003
PeruPresentMissouri Botanical Garden, 2003
VenezuelaPresentHolm et al., 1977; Missouri Botanical Garden, 2003

Oceania

AustraliaPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-Australian Northern TerritoryWidespread Invasive Parsons and Cuthbertson, 1992; Newbould, 1998; Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney, 2003
-New South WalesPresentRoyal Botanic Gardens Sydney, 2003
-QueenslandPresentRoyal Botanic Gardens Sydney, 2003
-Western AustraliaPresentRoyal Botanic Gardens Sydney, 2003
Cook IslandsPresentMcCormack, 2002
French PolynesiaPresentWelsh, 1998
GuamPresentStone, 1970; Fosberg et al., 1979
KiribatiPresentFosberg et al., 1979
Marshall IslandsPresentFosberg et al., 1979
New CaledoniaPresentSmith, 1985; Swarbrick, 1997; Missouri Botanical Garden, 2003
Papua New GuineaPresentBourke et al., 1973; Smith, 1985

History of Introduction and Spread

Top of page T. cistoides is generally considered to be a native of tropical America and now occurs in many tropical and temperate regions (Newbould, 1998). El Hadidi (1985) claims that it was introduced to parts of America and western Asia. It is a weed of coastal areas of the USA from Texas to Georgia, and in Hawaii, Mauritius and Madagascar. In Australia, it is confined to Northern Territory (Parsons and Cuthbertson, 1992). Fournet and Hammerton (1991) state that T. cistoides occurs on all islands in the Lesser Antilles except St Lucia, St Vincent and Barbados.

Risk of Introduction

Top of page T. cistoides may pose a risk in coastal regions of countries with a warm climate where it has not yet established. However, the principal means of introduction may be via oceanic currents rather than trade or transport.

Habitat

Top of page T. cistoides is commonly found as a weed on sandy soils along coasts and also open places inland. It is found on roadsides, recreational areas and agricultural land. In Hawaii it occurs from sea level to 100 m altitude (Wagner et al., 1999), in eastern Africa up to 800 m or possibly 1200 m (El Hadidi, 1985) and in Bolivia up to 1300 m (Missouri Botanical Garden, 2003). In the Lesser Antilles, it is found on rendzinas, calcic phaeozems and sometimes chromic Vertisols (Fournet and Hammerton, 1991).

Habitat List

Top of page
CategorySub-CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Terrestrial
Terrestrial – ManagedCultivated / agricultural land Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Managed grasslands (grazing systems) Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Disturbed areas Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Rail / roadsides Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Urban / peri-urban areas Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Littoral
Coastal areas Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)

Hosts/Species Affected

Top of page T. cistoides occurs as a weed of crops growing in sandy soils along the coasts of warm-climate countries. In the Lesser Antilles, this includes vegetables, root crops and sugarcane (Fournet and Hammerton, 1991).

Biology and Ecology

Top of page T. cistoides reproduces by seeds (Holm et al., 1977). Honey bees (Apis mellifera) and solitary bees of the genera Agapostemon, Halictus and Lasioglossum have been observed collecting pollen from T. cistoides in Florida and are probably effective pollinators of this weed (Austin, 1972). The plant begins to flower and set seeds while only a few centimetres tall, continuing to do so throughout the year. It is known to flower from spring to fall in the sub-tropics and all year round in the tropics. Flowers open just after sunrise and close at sunset, lasting about two days. The plant's rapid growth allows it to form sizable radial patches very quickly (Holm et al., 1977).

Latitude/Altitude Ranges

Top of page
Latitude North (°N)Latitude South (°S)Altitude Lower (m)Altitude Upper (m)
0 0 0 1300

Air Temperature

Top of page
Parameter Lower limit Upper limit
Absolute minimum temperature (ºC) 10
Mean annual temperature (ºC) 20 30
Mean maximum temperature of hottest month (ºC) 25 32
Mean minimum temperature of coldest month (ºC) 14 25

Rainfall

Top of page
ParameterLower limitUpper limitDescription
Dry season duration5number of consecutive months with <40 mm rainfall
Mean annual rainfall3501000mm; lower/upper limits

Rainfall Regime

Top of page Summer

Soil Tolerances

Top of page

Soil texture

  • light
  • medium

Natural enemies

Top of page
Natural enemyTypeLife stagesSpecificityReferencesBiological control inBiological control on
Microlarinus lareynii Herbivore Seeds
Microlarinus lypiformis Herbivore
Microlarinus lypriformis Herbivore Seeds

Notes on Natural Enemies

Top of page The main natural enemiy of T. cistoides is Microlarinus lypriformis (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) which has proved to be a successful biocontrol agent in a number of countries, whereas the related M. lareynii has also proved effective. Both weevils were collected in the native range of T. terrestris in Italy and do not naturally occur in the native distribution of T. cistoides. In many countries, introduction was accidental although beneficial (Julien and Griffiths, 1998).

Means of Movement and Dispersal

Top of page Natural Dispersal (Non-Biotic)

It is believed that oceanic dispersal is important, as seeds of T. cistoides are thought to have reached Hawaii by ocean currents (Holm et al., 1977).

Vector Transmission (Biotic)

The spiny fruits of T. cistoides are well equipped for dispersal from field to field by attaching to the fur and hides of wild and domestic animals. They are also dispersed on human clothes and footwear. The large and small spines on the fruit are arranged at different angles so that, no matter how the seed falls, one of the spines always points upward to meet the unwary foot, hoof or vehicle tyre (Holm et al., 1977).

Agricultural Practices

The spiny fruits can be transported over some considerable distances because they are readily attached to the rubber tyres of farm machinery.

Impact Summary

Top of page
CategoryImpact
Animal/plant collections None
Animal/plant products None
Biodiversity (generally) None
Crop production Negative
Environment (generally) None
Fisheries / aquaculture None
Forestry production None
Human health None
Livestock production Negative
Native fauna None
Native flora None
Rare/protected species None
Tourism None
Trade/international relations None
Transport/travel None

Impact

Top of page T. cistoides has been reported to be poisonous to livestock, especially sheep, in Australia (Gardner and Bennetts, 1956), Colombia and Venezuela (Blohm, 1962). It has been implicated in hepatogenic photosensitization in sheep, with mortality or sickness exceeding 90%, especially among young animals (Holm et al., 1977).

Threatened Species

Top of page
Threatened SpeciesConservation StatusWhere ThreatenedMechanismReferencesNotes
Linum carteri (Carter's small-flowered flax)USA ESA listing as endangered species USA ESA listing as endangered speciesFloridaCompetition - stranglingUS Fish and Wildlife Service, 2010

Risk and Impact Factors

Top of page Invasiveness
  • Invasive in its native range
  • Proved invasive outside its native range
  • Tolerates, or benefits from, cultivation, browsing pressure, mutilation, fire etc
  • Has propagules that can remain viable for more than one year
Impact outcomes
  • Negatively impacts agriculture
  • Negatively impacts animal health
Impact mechanisms
  • Competition - monopolizing resources
  • Produces spines, thorns or burrs

Uses

Top of page T. cistoides is used to treat malaria and infections of the kidney and bladder (Achenbach et al., 1994). In the Bahamas, T. cistoides is regarded as an attractive ornamental plant rather than as a weed of economic importance (Bennett and Baranowski, 1981). T. cistoides is used by Australian Aborigines as a cure for toothache by chewing the plant and holding it next to the tooth.

Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

Top of page T. cistoides closely resembles T. terrestris but the latter is an annual herb with smaller flowers 7-15 mm in diameter and with smaller leaflets. It is sometimes as important a weed as T. terrestris. Much of the biology, economic impact and control are similar to those cited for T. terrestris. T. longipetalus Viv. (synonym T. alatus Del. nom. nud.), a weed of north Yemen, has winged fruits unlike the spiny fruits of T. cistoides. T. taiwanense T. C. Huang and T. H. Hsieh is distinguished from T. cistoides in Taiwan by the length of the pedicels and other morphological characters (Huang and Hsieh, 1994). T. zeyheri Sond. is an annual or biennial herb, sometimes confused with T. cistoides because of its large flowers and similar fruits. The limits of neither species are well defined and both should probably be regarded as infraspecific taxa of one species (Exell et al., 1963). Inland forms of T. cistoides in East Africa are difficult to distinguish from T. zeyheri (El Hadidi, 1985).

Prevention and Control

Top of page Introduction

Due to the similarities with T. terrestris, cultural, mechanical and chemical methods used effectively to control this species may also be suitable for controlling T. cistoides. See the control section of the datasheet on T. terrestris for further information.

Mechanical Control

Control of T. cistoides is difficult due to the long seed life and drought tolerance. Shallow cultivation to sever the taproot is effective in controlling large plants but it may stimulate the germination of seed (Newbould, 1998).

Chemical Control

The application of a number of registered herbicides can provide residual and selective control of T. cistoides (Newbould, 1998). Numerous herbicides have proved effective for the control of T. terrestris which could also be considered suitable for controlling T. cistoides.

Biological Control

Following the release of the stem-and-crown-mining weevil Microlarinus lypriformis (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) in Hawaii and St. Kitts-Nevis for the control of T. cistoides, it was later recorded in Venezuela, Curaçao and Puerto Rico (Bennett, 1989). Successful control of T. cistoides by M. lypriformis is reported from Hawaii (Davis, 1972), Papua New Guinea (Bourke et al., 1973), USA (Maddox, 1976), St Kitts (Bennett, 1971) and elsewhere in the West Indies including the Bahamas and Jamaica (Maddox, 1976). The control by M. lypriformis in Hawaii has been particularly successful since its introduction in 1963 - it had destroyed all growth of T. cistoides on the island of Kauai within one year (Nakao, 1969). M. layeynii has also been introduced as a biological control agent against T. cistoides, although it has proved to be less effective than M. lypriformis (Julien and Griffiths, 1998).

References

Top of page

Achenbach H, Hubner H, Brandt W, Reiter M, 1994. Cardioactive steroid saponins and other constituents from the aerial parts of Tribulus cistoides. Phytochemistry, 35(6):1527-1543

Austin DF, 1972. Interactions between Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera: Apidae) and Tribulus cistoides (Zygophyllaceae). Rhodora, 74(797):117-123; B

Bennett FD, 1971. Some recent successes in the field of biological control in the West Indies. Sociedad Entomologica del Peru: Proceedings of the First Latin-American Congress Entomology, Cuzco, Peru, 12th-18th April 1971.: Anales del Primer Congreso Latinoamericano de Entomologia Cusco, Peru, 12-18 de Abril 1971, 14:369-373

Bennett FD, 1989. Microlarinus lypriformis (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) in Curacao, Venezuela, and Puerto Rico: new distribution records. Coleopterists Bulletin, 43(4):390-391

Bennett FD, Baranowski RM, 1981. Discovery of the puncture vine stem weevil, Microlarinus lypriformis (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) in the Bahamas. Florida Entomologist, 64(1):197

Blohm H, 1962. Poisonous Plants of Venezuela. Stuttgart, Germany: Wissenschaftliche Verlagsgesellschaft GmbH

Bourke TV, Fenner TL, Stibick JNL, Baker GL, Hassan E, O'Sullivan DF, Li CS, 1973. Insect pest survey for the year ending 30th June, 1969. Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea: Entomology Branch, Department of Agriculture, Stock and Fisheries

Davis CJ, 1972. Recent introductions for biological control in Hawaii - 17. Proceedings of the Hawaiian Entomological Society, 21(2):187-190

El Hadidi N, 1985. Zygophyllaceae. In: Polhill RM, ed. Flora of Tropical East Africa. Rotterdam, The Netherlands: A. A. Balkema

Exell AW, Fernandes A, Wild H, 1963. Flora Zambesiaca, Vol. 2, Pt. 1. London, UK: Crown Agents for Overseas Governments and Administrations

Fosberg FR, Sachet MH, Oliver RL, 1979. A geographical checklist of the Micronesian dicotyledonae. Micronesica, 15:222

Fournet J, Hammerton JL, 1991. Weeds of the Lesser Antilles. Paris, France: Department d'Economie et Sociologie Rurales, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique

Gardner C, Bennetts H, 1956. The Toxic Plants of Western Australia. Perth, Australia: Periodicals Division, West Australian Newspaper

Holm LG, Pancho JV, Herberger JP, Plucknett DL, 1979. A geographical atlas of world weeds. New York, USA: John Wiley and Sons, 391 pp

Holm LG, Plucknett DL, Pancho JV, Herberger JP, 1977. The World's Worst Weeds. Distribution and Biology. Honolulu, Hawaii, USA: University Press of Hawaii

Huang TC, Hsieh TH, 1994. Notes on the flora of Taiwan (18) Tribulus L. (Zygophyllaceae). Taiwania, 39(1-2):61-71

Julien MH, Griffiths MW, 1998. Biological control of weeds: a world catalogue of agents and their target weeds. Biological control of weeds: a world catalogue of agents and their target weeds., Ed. 4:x + 223 pp

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