Plants of Texas Rangelands
Zygophyllaceae (Caltrop family)
Goathead is an annual weed in the caltrop family. The prostrate stems radiate from a tap root and bear pairs of opposite leaves. The flattened fruit resembles a goat’s head. It breaks into five nutlets, each bearing two strong, woody spines, hence the name puncturevine. The flowers are small and have five yellow petals.
Goathead is an introduced weed from Europe. Widely distributed in disturbed areas and along trails and roadsides, it may abound in severely overgrazed pastures. It is found throughout Texas except on the Gulf Coast and extreme eastern part of the state.
The plant causes hepatogenous photosensitization in sheep and possibly also in cattle. All parts of the plant are toxic at all growth stages, but wilted plants are the most hazardous. Goathead also can accumulate high levels of nitrate. The spiny burs this plant produces are mechanically dangerous, producing lesions on the mouth or feet.
Signs of Livestock Ingestion
In natural cases, typical lesions of severe hepatogenous photosensitization were seen, including: Blindness; Peeling of light-colored skin; Loss of lips and ears; High mortality of young animals.
Nitrate poisoning signs also may be evident (see Description of Animal Conditions).
Plants of Texas Rangelands Goathead, Puncturevine Zygophyllaceae (Caltrop family) Description Goathead is an annual weed in the caltrop family. The prostrate stems radiate from a tap
Killing Goat Head Weeds & Seeds
Dear Experts, I live in California’s Central Valley and due to the much needed heavy late rain, I have a bumper crop of goat head sticker weeds. More than I have ever seen in 20 years. Actually it’s one half acre of solid sticker weeds on bare ground. I should have pulled them while they were green but Due to a heart operation I didn’t. Now it’s too late because they are dry and the goat heads will fall off as I try to pick them up. They will just become planted seeds after discing. So I’m wondering how to kill the seeds before I disk the field. I plan to build on the property one day and I would like it to not be a goat head farm. My neighbor had a similar goat head issue. He used a propane blow torch hooked to a 20 lb. propane tank and walked around burning the dried weed and the goat heads as much as possible. I’m not sure if his method will work. What do you think of burning the seeds? What other methods can you advise me to try? The field is dry and hard at this time, but after we get some rain I will need to disk it to keep the weeds from growing. I have the bumper crop of goat head weeds because I didn’t disk after the early June rains, and I didn’t walk around and pick the small green weeds when they first sprouted like I usually do. I would be very grateful for any advice you can help me with. Respectfully Harold Harris
Dear Experts, I live in California’s Central Valley and due to the much needed heavy late rain, I have a bumper crop of goat head…