Quote of the Week, Perhaps a Bit Longer

"The biological community is a vast and complicated system for sharing and distributing the energy of the sun among a diversity of life forms." ~Martson Bates


Little Devils, Little Devils

One of bicyclists greatest enemies is puncturevine (Tribulus terrestris), more commonly known as goatheads. This little plant has caused many a flat tire. They get the name puncturevine because the sharp pointed spikes on the seeds are infamous for puncturing tubes in bicycle tires causing flats. They get the name goatheads because the seeds look very much like a goat's head complete with horns and goatee.

In it's early stages of development it looks quite harmless. It grows along the ground forming a mat with steams and leaves radiating out from a central point. The leaves are pinnately compound with small leaflets. They have pretty little five petaled yellow flowers. It's not until the flowers bare their fruit that plant becomes dangerous to bicycle tires and bare feet. The fruit seeds or nutlets turn hard, fall from the plant and are then ready to wreak havoc on world. Puncturevine is considered a noxious weed here in Nevada and is problematic in several states throughout the west, including Arizona, California, Oregon and Idaho.

Pinnately compound leaves of the puncturevine

With all the negative hype surrounding puncturevine, most people are oblivious to the more positive qualities that the plant has. It has been used as an aphrodisiac, boosting hormone production in men and women. It has also been used for urinary tract problems, itchy skin and blood purification. In addition, tea made from the steams, leaves and flowers of the plant has been said to be good for arthritis.

The yellow flower of the puncturevine

1 comment:

Erin said...

very very interesting...they also wreak havoc on puppy paws!!

lots of love,
mom and beary!