Selected Plants of Navajo Rangelands

Take care of our Navajo Rangelands

Puncturevine
Ch’ilhoshíǫ Naakaibihosh
(a.k.a. Goathead)

Viney growth habit with slightly fuzzy stems

Puncturevine (also called goathead), an introduced, invasive plant, is sensitive to competition and will be outcompeted by native species except on repeatedly disturbed areas.

The foliage of this plant is toxic, and grazing animals may eat burs, which cause injuries to the mouth, stomach, and intestines. Ants seem to congregate under the plants, particularly near stem emergence.

The burs are painful to hands or feet of humans and can penetrate shoes or bicycle tires. Clear clothing, shoes, and tires of burs to avoid spreading the plant to new locations.

Stems form a dense mat with small yellow flowers on short stalks. Puncturevine reproduces by seed, so controlling plants prior to seeding is important.

Five-petalled yellow flower and pinnate foliage.
Viney growth habit with slightly fuzzy stems
Close-up of fading yellow flower with slightly fuzzy stems and bracts visible behind petals
Viney growth habit with slightly fuzzy stems and tiny flowers forming
A new plant with a flower growing right above meager leaves and a tiny stem
Close-up of yellow flower with slightly fuzzy stems and bracts visible behind petals
Viney growth habit with fuzz on leaves visible

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