Tribulus

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Tribulus

 

(caltrop), a genus of primarily annual herbs of the family Zygophyllaceae. The stems are usually extended, and the leaves are even-pinnate. The flowers are small and solitary. The fruits break up into five prickly or spiny nutlets (mericarps).

There are about 20 species, found mainly in the eastern part of the Mediterranean region. Some species also occur in southern Africa and in the Americas. There are two species in the USSR: T. terrestris and T. macropterus. The former grows in sandy regions and wastelands, along roads, and amid crops in the European section, the Caucasus, Siberia, Kazakhstan, and Middle Asia. T. macropterus grows in the Amu Darya River valley and adjacent deserts. The fruit frequently injures the feet of animals and becomes tangled in the coat of sheep and other animals.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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