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ZYGOPHYLLACEAE CALTROP FAMILY

Duncan M. Porter

Annual, perennial herb, shrub, often armed; caudex present or not. Stem: branched; nodes often angled, swollen. Leaf: 1-compound, opposite, petioled; stipules persistent or not; leaflets entire. Inflorescence: flowers 1–2 in axils. Flower: bisexual; sepals 5, free, persistent or not; petals 5, free, generally spreading, twisted (corolla propeller-like) or not; stamens 10, appendaged on inside base or not; ovary superior, chambers (and lobes) 5–10, each with 1–several ovules, placentas axile. Fruit: capsule or splitting into 5–10 nutlets (= mericarps).
27 genera, ± 250 species: widespread especially in warm, dry regions; some cultivated (Guaiacum, lignum vitae; Tribulus, caltrop). [Sheahan & Chase 2000 Syst Bot 25:371–384] —Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.

Key to Zygophyllaceae

TRIBULUS PUNCTURE VINE, CALTROP
Annual. Stem: prostrate, spreading radially, generally < 1 m. Leaf: even-1-pinnate; stipules ± leaf-like. Inflorescence: flowers 1 in axils. Flower: sepals deciduous; petals yellow, deciduous. Fruit: 5-lobed, splitting into 5 nutlets, each with many tubercles, 2–4 stout spines; style deciduous; pedicel reflexed. Seed: 3–5 per chamber.
± 12 species: especially dry Africa. (Latin: weapon used to impede cavalry, from armed fruit)

T. terrestris L.
NATURALIZED
Stem: ± silky or appressed-hairy, also sharply bristly. Leaf: stipules 1–5 mm; leaflets 6–12. Flower: < 5 mm wide; pedicel generally < subtending leaf. Fruit: 5 mm, < 1 cm wide, ± flat, hairy, gray or ± yellow; spines 4–7 mm, spreading, hairy to glabrous.
Dry, disturbed areas including roadsides, railways, vacant lots; generally < 1000 m. California; to Wyoming, eastern United States, central Mexico; native to Mediterranean. TOXIC to livestock in vegetative condition, fruits cause mechanical injury. First collected in California in 1902; long a pernicious weed, now controlled by introduced weevils. Apr–Oct {Noxious weed} [Online Interchange]

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Next taxon: Zygophyllum

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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/IJM.html, accessed on Oct 31 2014
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Tribulus, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_IJM.pl?tid=46922, accessed on Oct 31 2014

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click for enlargement Tribulus terrestris
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2004 James M. Andre

Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Tribulus terrestris Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
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map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.