Puncturevine is a non-native annual plant introduced from Europe. It
reproduces from seed only. It is a mat forming, prostrate plant that
has stems 1-6 feet long. Leaves are opposite, pinnately compound, 1-2
inches long with 4-8 pairs of leaflets. Flowers are yellow, 1/8 to 1/2
inch broad with five petals. The seed is a hard spiny bur that has three
spines to each seed capsule. Puncturevine grows in pastures, cultivated
fields, roadsides, and waste places.
Since puncturevine is a summer annual, keeping it from going to seed
is imperative. It emerges throughout the summer in Colorado, flowering
July-September. Puncturevine bas a simple taproot and can be controlled
by hand pulling the plant, keeping the root intact. Hand pulling should
be carried out up through early flower stage, If pulling occurs after
flowering, make sure the seeds are not dislodged and that the plants
are bagged and thrown away.
Puncturevine can be controlled chemically by preemergent or postemergent
herbicide applications. Location of the infestation and the management
objectives will determine the herbicides to be used. In turf and unimproved
turf sites. Certain preemergent (prior to green-up of vegetation) fertilizer/crabgrass
preventer products will control puncturevine as the seeds germinate.
Products that have pendimethalin or trifluralin as the herbicidal active
ingredient are very effective on puncture vine. The first application
to the lawn should be made by early April. Read the label for complete
application instructions. After puncturevine has emerged it is important
to switch to a postemergent broadleaf herbicide that has one or more
of the following herbicides; 2,4-D, 2,4-DP, Dicamba, MCPA, or MCPP.
For turf applications there are numerous postemergent broadleaf products
that have one or more ofthcse compounds in them.
In ornamental sites, rock gardens, end other non-crop sites there are
products that can be used without the fertilizer that have the various
herbicid2J active ingredients as stated above. Products that can be
3.3 EC or WDG
When choosing a herbicide for use on your property, it is imperative
that you read the label first and pick a product that is labeled for
your intended use and site.