Restoring landscapes across the Mount Alexander Region

Hazard to cyclists – Caltrop weed

Posted on 13 February, 2019 by Frances

Caltrop (Tribulus terrestris) is a Regionally controlled weed in the North Central Catchment.  It is also known as bindii, cat’s head, goat’s head or yellow vine. It is a flat, summer-growing, annual herb with yellow flowers.

Caltrop (photo by Ern Perkins)

The fruit of caltrop is a woody burr with sharp spines. This burr can puncture bike tires, making it particularly annoying for cyclists.  It can also puncture human skin, and injure the feet, mouth and digestive system of animals. Burrs are easily picked up and spread by vehicle tyres, shoes, animal feet and other objects.

Caltrop has been observed growing in Castlemaine.  A small and committed band of volunteers are helping to keep it under control. Margaret Panter developed a poster (click here) to raise awareness about this prickly weed.

How to prevent Caltrop becoming widespread in Castlemaine:

  • Avoid infested areas (see map here), as walking, riding or driving through them spreads seeds to other areas.
  • Pull or cut out plants before they drop their prickles.
  • Report new infestations to Mount Alexander Shire Council.
  • Check shoes and tyres for prickles before leaving an infested area.
  • Destroy seeds or put in a secure bag in the bin.

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