Puncturevine has invaded most of the United States but is only found in New Hanover and Durham counties in North Carolina. It is much easier to control an invasive species if we can manage infestations when they are still small. So, please watch out for puncturevine and report any infestations outside of Durham or New Hanover counties to the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Weed Specialist at 1-800-206-9333.
Puncturevine forms mats which can grow as wide as 4’ across. During the summer, the plant produces small yellow flowers with 5 petals. A week after flowering, the fruits appear. The fruits produce small woody burrs with sharp thorns, sometimes the burrs almost look like goat heads. The leaves are compound with tiny leaflets (less than ¼” long).
Fact Sheet: Puncturevine
Photo credits: (plant) Richard Old, XID Services, Inc., Bugwood.org; (burrs) Steve Hurst, USDA NRCS PLANTS Database, Bugwood.org
Photo Credit: Phil Westra, Colorado State University