Saturday, September 03, 2011

Goathead Weed

This is another of the horrid weeds we have here in the desert. I have no idea of any other name for it besides Goathead which really makes people that don't know what it is wonder until they experience the terrible thing. It doesn't look that bad. Doesn't seem to cause allergies. Has a cute little yellow blossom. Grows in a circle that some people, at first, think is a nice groundcover as it will grow with no water what so ever. Until you find the seeds which give it it's name, Goathead. The seed are round with two 'horns' that want to break off into the foot or hand of what ever encounters it. And it HURTS. Boy does it hurt. I have known of several people who have had to have the 'horn' off of one of these seed surgically removed after it has become infected. One man I know of almost had to have his foot amputated. I was unable to find a seed to take a photo of as I try to keep them all picked up and all plants pulled. They are easy to pull and will die when it freezes, but leaves the seeds to sprout next spring. And each and every seed will sprout. I fight them constantly. Each seed is sent to the trashcan and each plant without a seed is pulled and turned with the root up to die. Several of my neighbors fight them but a lot of people don't fight them and they will stick to anything and make their way back to mine or your yard. They love to hitchhike on car and truck tires and on the rubber soles of shoes, as well as bike tires. They are death to bicycle tires. If you ride a bicycle in the desert you are sure to go buy the special tubes that can't be punchered by the 'goathead seeds'. And of course dogs and cats hate them as well as those of us that try to get rid of them. Again this weed is not native to the desert but I don't know where it did come from

1 comment:

  1. They are my most despised plant.
    My experience is that if you pull them assiduously for four or five years, they will be under control. After that you will only have a plant every year or two.