Anyone who uses the local trails will know that ‘Bindies’, especially those we call ‘Three cornered jacks’ are a curse, and they are spreading! If you see any of these while out on your daily exercises, please consider returning with a bucket and mattock and removing them.
Bindii is the common name for several flat growing plant species producing burrs, in this case Caltrop (Tribulus terrestris). Caltrop produces particularly nasty burrs, which can pierce feet, thongs, even bike tyres!
Caltrop grows flat along the ground, stemming from a central tap root. The yellow flowers produce woody burrs or “bindies” with sharp rigid spines. Each bindi splits into five wedge-shaped segments when ripe. Each of these contains about 20 seeds, meaning one plant can produce 8,000 seeds in one season!
Caltrop is known as the “seven year weed”, because one year of seeds means seven years of new plants. It loves bare areas like gravel car parks and footpaths, and thrives with summer rain. Conditions in our region have been perfect this summer, and many residents have noticed the increase in Caltrop. Please, if you see it, pull it out before it seeds!
This weed can be quite easily physically removed by grubbing or digging plants from the central tap root, and anyone is welcome to join the effort! Parklands staff and local Landcare groups work regularly with volunteers to control weeds like Caltrop using non-chemical methods, and our local Council staff appreciate timely reporting of infestations by community members, so that plants can be treated before they can set seed.
In Wodonga, pulled plants can be placed in your green bin, as Council’s contract treatment of green waste kills the seeds.
Image below and detailed information on Caltrop control is available at http://agriculture.vic.gov.au/agriculture/pests-diseases-and-weeds/weeds/a-z-of-weeds/caltrop