Status of caltrop in Tasmania(Tribulus terrestris)
- Caltrop is a declared weed in Tasmania under the Tasmanian Weed Management Act 1999. The importation, sale and distribution of caltrop are prohibited in Tasmania.
- The legal responsibilities of landholders and other stakeholders in dealing with caltrop are laid out in the Caltrop Statutory Weed Management Plan.
What does caltrop look like?
is a summer-growing annual herb with a prostrate (ground-hugging) growth
habit. The stems are green to reddish brown, prostrate, to 2 metres
long and covered in fine hairs. The leaves are opposite and of unequal
size, each leaf consisting of 3 to 8 opposite leaflets, and covered in
hairs. The flowers are yellow and short lived, lasting a single day. The
fruit is a 1 cm diameter woody burr with spine, splitting into 5
wedge-shaped segments when ripe.
- Seeds germinate in late spring
and summer after rain. Flowering begins when the plants are only 3 weeks
old and continues till the plants die off in autumn or early winter.
- Spread is by seed. The burr readily attaches to animals, sheep fleece, vehicle tyres and shoes.
Image top right: Caltrop flower, photo: Jeff Abbas 2001
above left to right: Caltrop, photo: Molly Elizabeth Bagley 2002;
Caltrop stems and flowers, photo: Jeff Abbas 2001; The spiny burrs of
Caltrop, photo: CDFA 2001
Impacts of caltrop
- The spiny burr of caltrop causes problems by damaging the feet and mouths of animals, and when the burr becomes entangled in wool. The burrs can also be a nuisance to people such as on playing fields.
Where does caltrop occur?
- Caltrop is a native of the Mediterranean, Asia, Africa and subtropical Australia. On mainland Australia, caltrop is a problem weed in all states.
- Caltrop has not naturalised in Tasmania.
What you need to do
- If you locate caltrop anywhere in Tasmania, or if you find a plant that you think could be caltrop, immediately contact your Regional Weed Management Officer on 1300 368 550 to report this weed.
Caltrop Statutory Weed Management Plan
Weed Links and Resources
Other useful links
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