Caltrop - a prickly problem


Caltrop is a summer growing weed found widely throughout Western Australia.

It produces wedge-shaped burrs whose long sharp spines are capable of puncturing bike tyres as well as causing injury to people and animals.

At the end of each summer Cambridge undertakes to locate and remove caltrop, in an effort to eradicate this thorny pest.

Any help by residents of Cambridge in the removal of caltrop is welcome.

If you find a caltrop patch you can remove it by following the instructions below or contact the Town and we will arrange to have it sprayed with herbicide.

How to identify caltrop
  • The trailing stems of caltrop are long and wiry and covered with fine hairs.
  • The greyish-green stems lay prostrate on the ground and radiate from a central taproot.
  • The leaves are fern-like in appearance and also greyish-green in colour.
  • Caltrop produces small yellow flowers with five petals.
  • The wedge-like burrs are formed in clusters of five, each with long sharp spines.
How to remove caltrop
  • Find the centre of the base of the weed and gently pull out the taproot.
  • Place the caltrop in your green waste bin, being careful not to drop any thorns.
  • Check the ground where the caltrop was growing to collect any loose thorns (using a sponge paint roller is a good way to do this).
  • Place all the collected thorns into your green waste bin (or remove them from the sponge paint roller and place in bin).
  • Check the soles of your shoes and place any thorns collected on them in the green waste bin.

For further information on the control of caltrop download the Department of Agriculture Farmnote below.


 Download Control of Caltrop Farmnote


Please contact us If you would like any further information or to report a caltrop infestation  

Last Updated: 13/08/2013