Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Tribulus terrestris
L., Zygophyllaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Risk assessment results: 

Reject, score: 14 (Go to the risk assessment (Australia)).
High risk, score:  11 (Go to the risk assessment (Pacific)).

Common name(s): [more details]

Chinese: ji li

English: bendy-eye, bindii, bull's head, burnut, caltrop, caltrops, cat's head, common dubbletjie, devil's thorn, devil's weed, double gee, goat head, goathead, ground bur-nut, land catrop, Mexican sandbur, puncture vine, puncture weed, yellow vine

French: tribule terrestre

Spanish: abrojos, cacho de chivo, espigón

Habit:  herb

Description:  "Prostrate annual herbs; stems up to ca. 10 dm long.  Leaves 1-4.5 cm long, leaflets 3-6 (-8) pairs, oblong to ovate or elliptic, 4-11 mm long, 2-4 mm wide, both surfaces moderately to densely sericeous to long-strigose, especially when young, stipules subulate, 2-5 mm long.  Peduncles densely antrorsely strigose and hirsute, the latter hair type with pustulate bases; sepals ovate to lanceolate, equal, 2-4.5 mm long, 1.5-2 mm wide, margins scarious; petals yellow, oblong to obovate, 3-5 mm long, 1-3 mm wide; outer nectaries yellowish (?), bilobed, inner whorl of nectary glands yellow (?), distinct; ovary long-strigose. Fruit 5-12 mm in diameter, mericarps dorsally crested and tuberculate, bearing 2 stout hard spines 2.5-7 mm long, sometimes also with 2 smaller ones near base, the crests short-hirsute, the hairs with pustulate bases" (Wagner et al., 1999; p. 1344).

Habitat/ecology:  "It is commonly found in railroad yards and right-of-ways, along roadsides and field margins, in barnyards, near gravel pits and open sandy places, and in ballast heaps, dry waste areas, fallow fields, pastures, cultivated fields, lawns, and playgrounds.  [It] grows best in dry, loose, sandy soils and it prospers near sand dunes or loose blown soil by field margins.  However, it also grows in heavier soils, especially if they are fertile and moist.   The plant can grow on compacted soils such as those found along the sides of unsurfaced roads or in playgrounds" (Holm et al., 1977; p. 467).

In Hawai‘i, "sparingly naturalized in disturbed areas such as along roadsides, often in sandy soil, 0-15 m" (Wagner et al., 1999; p. 1344). In disturbed areas in the Galápagos Islands (McMullen, 1999; p. 265).

Propagation:  Seed. "Fruit is dispersed by adhering to the feet of animals and humans or vehicle and bicycle tyres. Fruit also sticks to sheep wool and is often found in hay, straw and manure" (Smith, 2002; pp. 54-55).

Native range:  Mediterranean region, now widely naturalized in warm temperate and tropical regions (Holm et al., 1977; p. 467).

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Española Group
Española Island possibly introduced
invasive
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Española Group
Gardner por Espaņola Islet, Española Island possibly introduced
invasive
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Floreana Group
Caldwell Island, Floreana Island possibly introduced
invasive
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Floreana Group
Campéon Islet, Floreana Island possibly introduced
invasive
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Floreana Group
Floreana Island possibly introduced
invasive
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Floreana Group
Gardner por Floreana Island, Floreana Island possibly introduced
invasive
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Genovesa Group
Genovesa Island possibly introduced
invasive
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Isabela Group
Cowley Islet, Isabela Island possibly introduced
invasive
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Isabela Group
Isabela Island possibly introduced
invasive
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Isabela Group
Volcán Sierra Negra, Isabela Island possibly introduced
invasive
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
San Cristóbal Group
San Cristóbal Island possibly introduced
invasive
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Santa Cruz Group
Santa Cruz Island possibly introduced
invasive
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Santiago Group
Santiago Island possibly introduced
invasive
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Fiji Islands introduced
invasive
Smith, Albert C. (1985) (p. 579)
Possibly eradicated.
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Kaua‘i Island introduced
invasive
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 1344)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Lāna‘i Island introduced
invasive
Oppenheimer, Hank (2013) (p. 19)
Voucher cited: Oppenheimer H21113 (BISH, PTBG)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Maui Island introduced
invasive
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 1344)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Moloka‘i Island introduced
invasive
Oppenheimer, Hank L. (2003) (p. 27)
Voucher cited: Oppenheimer H70123 (BISH, PTBG)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
O‘ahu Island introduced
invasive
Wagner, Warren L./Herbst, Derral R./Sohmer, S. H. (1999) (p. 1344)
Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea (eastern New Guinea Island)
Papua New Guinea (eastern New Guinea Island)   Henty, E. E./Pritchard, G. H. (1975) (p. 162)
Reported present.
United States (other Pacific offshore islands)
Wake Islands
Wake Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1993) (voucher ID: BISH 633239)
Taxon name on voucher: Tribulus terrestris L.
United States (other Pacific offshore islands)
Wake Islands
Wake Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1994) (voucher ID: BISH 659969)
Taxon name on voucher: Tribulus terrestris L.
Pacific Rim
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Australia
Australia (continental)
Australia (continental) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Australia
Australia (continental)
Northern Territory introduced
invasive
Smith, Nicholas M. (2002) (pp. 54-55)
Australia
Australia (continental)
Queensland introduced
invasive
Smith, Nicholas M. (2002) (pp. 54-55)
Cambodia
Cambodia
Cambodia (Kingdom of)   Holm, Leroy G./Plucknett, D. L./Pancho, J. V./Herberger, J. P. (1977) (p. 468)
China
China
China (People's Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Japan
Japan
Japan (country) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
South Korea
South Korea
South Korea (Republic of)   Holm, Leroy/Pancho, Juan V./Herberger, James P./Plucknett, Donald L. (1979) (p. 366)
Thailand
Thailand
Thailand (Kingdom of)   Holm, Leroy G./Plucknett, D. L./Pancho, J. V./Herberger, J. P. (1977) (p. 468)
United States (west coast)
United States (west coast states)
USA (California)   Holm, Leroy G./Plucknett, D. L./Pancho, J. V./Herberger, J. P. (1977) (p. 471)
Vietnam
Vietnam
Vietnam (Socialist Republic of)   Holm, Leroy G./Plucknett, D. L./Pancho, J. V./Herberger, J. P. (1977) (p. 468)
Indian Ocean
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Maldives
Maldive Islands
Malè Atoll   Fosberg, F. R. (1957) (p. 22)
Mauritius
Mautitius Islands (Mauritius and Rodrigues)
Mauritius Island   Holm, Leroy/Pancho, Juan V./Herberger, James P./Plucknett, Donald L. (1979) (p. 366)
Also reported from
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
South Africa
South Africa
South Africa (Republic of) introduced
Parsons, W. T./Cuthbertson, E. G. (1992)


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This page was created on 10 MAR 2003 and was last updated on 30 DEC 2011.