The cute ferny leaves and pretty yellow flowers are deceiving, making it seem like a friendly plant. Puncture vine is in the Zygophyllaceae family, also known as the creosote bush family. My husband's favorite plant is creosote bush, so how is it possible that my least favorite plant is in the same family?
Puncture vine is originally from the Mediterranean, but it has spread quickly. These trailing tendrils make it obvious why someone decided to call it a vine. What about the puncture part? Take a look at this next photo.
These little green fruits are fairly innocuous early in the summer, but the heat and dryness of hot days makes them get harder and harder...
...until they turn into sharp brown thorns that break apart and make even more sharp brown thorns. These thorns are so sharp that I've gotten a flat bicycle tire, a flat stroller tire, and a flat wheelbarrow tire. Needless to say, all of these tires now contain Slime.
While I was photographing the puncture vine, Desert Boy took a fall, landing right on top of a mass of it. He started crying immediately and I think he's joined me in calling this his least favorite weed.
Here are a couple of the thorns stuck in his hand. The seeds remain viable for three to seven years, so even though I have pulled every plant that I've seen in the yard, I'll probably have to keep after them for years. And unfortunately there are plenty of seeds just outside our yard.
What's your least favorite weed?