One of the most common species of the commonly named Caltrop, around Alice Springs is Tribulus eichlerianus, which is a native species. One of the best way of identifying it appears to be the fruit, which has a velvet surface (can be described as velvety-hairy) and with prominent, short, median dorsal spines (the arrangement of the burrs is different to that of T terrestris).

It is an important food source for all sorts of parrots.

There are at least 10 species of Tribulus (also commonly know as Bindieye or Caltrop), in the Northern Territory, some native and some introduced.

Tribulus is a genus of plants in the family Zygophyllaceae and found in diverse climates and soils worldwide, the best-known being T. terrestris (puncture vine), being a widespread invasive species and weed.

Tribulus terrestris is native to warm temperate and tropical regions including southern Europe, Asia, Africa and northern Australia.

The native species Tribulus eichlerianus s. lat. (Bindieye) is often confused with Tribulus terrestris.

Common name
Bull-head, Perennial Caltrop. Tribulus plant have a number of common names including Caltrop, Devil’s Thorn, Puncture Vine, Goat Head Burr and Goathead.

  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Clade: Tracheophytes
  • Clade: Angiosperms
  • Clade: Eudicots
  • Clade: Rosids
  • Order: Zygophyllales
  • Family: Zygophyllaceae
  • Genus: Tribulus
  • Species: Tribulus eichlerianus

Footnote & References

  1. Land For Wildlife – Garden For Wildlife – Central Australia, Prickly Problems and Spikey Snacks, A Guide to Identifying Bindis, Burrs and Prickles,
  2. Many thanks for ID and info from members of the Australian Indigenous Plant Identification, Facebook group,
  3. Tribulus eichlerianus, Lucid Central, Lucid Key Server,