Journal of Threatened Taxa | | 26 March 2022 | 14(3): 20805–20807


ISSN 0974-7907 (Online) | ISSN 0974-7893 (Print)

#7591 | Received 27 July 2021 | Final received 10 January 2022 | Finally accepted 24 February 2022



Tribulus ochroleucus (Maire) Ozenda & Quezel (Zygophyllaceae) - a new addition to the flora of India


K. Ravikumar 1, Umeshkumar Tiwari 2, Balachandran Natesan 3 & N. Arun Kumar 4


1,4 Centre for Conservation of Natural Resources, The University of Trans-disciplinary Health Sciences and Technology (TDU), Foundation for Revitalisation of Local Health Traditions (FRLHT), No. 74/2, Jarakabande Kaval, Attur Post, Yelahanka Via, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560064, India.

2 Technical Section, Director office, Botanical Survey of India, DF block 5th floor, CGO Complex Salt Lake, Kolkata, West Bengal 700064, India.

3 Ecology Department, French Institute of Pondicherry, 11, St Louis Street,  White Town, Puducherry 605001, India.

1 (corresponding author), 2, 3, 4




Editor: Mandar Nilkanth Datar, MACS-Agharkar Research Institute, Pune, India. Date of publication: 26 March 2022 (online & print)


Citation: Ravikumar, K., U. Tiwari, B. Natesan & N.A. Kumar (2022). Tribulus ochroleucus (Maire) Ozenda & Quezel (Zygophyllaceae) - a new addition to the flora of India. Journal of Threatened Taxa 14(3): 20805–20807.


Copyright: © Ravikumar et al. 2022. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.  JoTT allows unrestricted use, reproduction, and distribution of this article in any medium by providing adequate credit to the author(s) and the source of publication.


Funding: The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), New Delhi Centre for Excellence Scheme.


Competing interests: The authors declare no competing interests.


Acknowledgements: The authors are thankful to Shri. Darshan Shankar, vice-chancellor of TDU-FRLHT for the facilities and late Shri. D.K. Ved, IFS (Retd.) for constant support and encouragements; Ministry of Environment & Forests and Climate Change, Government of India, New Delhi for the financial support under CoE project.




The Foundation for Revitalisation of Local Health Tradition (FRLHT) is an NGO that is recognized as Centre of Excellence (CoE) for Medicinal plants and Traditional Knowledge used in Indian Systems of Medicine by the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF), Government of India, New Delhi. As part of this project, National Herbarium of Medicinal Plants used in Indian System of Medicine (ISM) was established. To accomplish the mission of the national herbarium, in-house botanical team undertakes field survey in various bio-geographic zones of the country to collect medicinal plants and house them in FRLHT herbarium (FRLH). As part of this program, surveys were undertaken in Sirohi, Chittorgarh, Ajmer, Jaisalmer, Bikaner, and Pokhran Districts of Rajasthan to collect semi-arid region specific species. One Tribulus species collected during the survey was not matching to any of the State floras published by Sharma & Tiagi (1979), Singh (1983), Shetty & Pandey (1983), Bhandari (1990), Shetty & Singh (1987, 1991, 1993), Singh & Singh (2006), and Tiagi & Aery (2007). Later, after a thorough scrutiny with Ghafoor (1974), Maire (1933); Ahmad & Mohamed (2005), and referring the herbarium specimens of Dr. R.C.J.E. Maire in central Sahara, 1939 (catalogue no. MPU367347) it was identified and confirmed as Tribulus ochroleucus (Maire) Ozenda & Quezel. There are 42 collections of Tribulus ochroleucus (Maire) Ozenda & Quézel on GBIF , collected from Niger, Libya, Algeria, Iran, and Saudi Arabia from the year 1928 to 2006. Therefore, it forms a new record to India, collected for the first time from Rajasthan. Hence it is provided here with the correct name, description, specimens examined, phenology, distribution, notes, and ecology.

The voucher specimens are deposited at the Foundation for Revitalisation of Local Health Traditions Herbarium (FRLH), Bengaluru. As far as genus Tribulus is concerned, Thomas (2006) mentions that there are six species and one variety occurring in India whereas Singh & Singh (1997) reported five species and two varieties for India.


Tribulus ochroleucus (Maire) Ozenda & Quezel

in Ozenda, Quézel. In: Trav. L’lnst. Recherehes Sahariennes 14: 74. 1956. (Zygophyllaceae).

Type: Sahara centralis, Mouydir Oued Arak, Maire 284.

Tribulus macropterus var. ochroleucus Maire in Ozenda, Quézel. Trav. L’lnst. Recherehes Sahariennes 14: 74. 1956.

T. ochroleucus var. perplexans (Maire) Ozenda & Quézel in Ozenda, Quézel. Trav. L’lnst. Recherehes Sahariennes 14: 75. 1956.

T. macropterus subsp. serolei Maire in Diagn. Pl. Orient. 1: 161 1843.  

Herbs decumbent, semi-erect or erect. Stems many, terete, pilose, arising from the rootstock. Leaves 2.5–4 cm long, opposite, unequal, the larger one with seven pairs of leaflets, the smaller one with 5 pairs of leaflets. Leaflets 4–8 x 1.5–3 mm, sessile or subsessile, oblique, oblong-ovate, acute, densely villous beneath, sparingly pubescent or glabrous when mature on upper surface. Stipules 3–4 x 0.5–1 mm, ovate to linear, densely pilose. Buds ovoid, densely silky villous. Flowers axillary to solitary; pedicels 5–15 mm long, sparsely to densely villous. Sepals 5, ovate-lanceolate, subequal, 4–6 x 1–2 mm, acute, villous outside, pubescent inside. Petals 5, broadly obovate to ovate, truncate at apex, glabrous, yellow; stamens 8–10; filaments ca. 2.5 mm long; anthers ca. 1 mm long, ovate-oblong, yellow. Ovaries ca. 1 mm long. Styles sessile or subsessile, ca. 1 mm long, cylindrical; stigma pyramidal. Schizocarps breaking into 4–5 mericarps, 4–5 subequally lobed, up to 7 mm across, densely hispid, with many long white hairs and many scattered short white hairs, devoid of spines or wings, pyramidal-ovoid.                                                                                                                                  (Image 1).

Specimen examined: 117458 (FRLH), 19/8/2014, Near Harchand Kidani on SH-65, Jaisalmer District, Rajasthan, 26.388 N, 71.803 E, alt. 236 m, coll. K. Ravikumar, N. Balachandran & Umeshkumar Tiwari.             

Flowering: August; Fruiting: September–October.

Global Distribution: Afghanistan, Algeria, Chad, Djibouti, Ethiopia, India (northwestern Rajasthan), Iran, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, northern Africa, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Sinai, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen.

Ecological notes: This plant is found associated with herbs such as Aristida hystricula Edgew., Bergia capensis L., Boerhavia erecta L., Cenchrus sp. Cistanche tubulosa (Schenk) Wight ex Hook.f., Cleome brachycarpa Vahl ex DC., Cleome pallida Kotschy, Cleome gynandra L., Cyperus arenarius Retz., Dactyloctenium scindicum Boiss., Digera muricata (L.) Mart., Dipcadi erythraeum Webb & Berthel., Enneapogon elegans (Nees ex Steud.) Stapf, Euploca rariflora (Stocks) Diane & Hilger., Fagonia schweinfurthii (Hadidi) Hadidi, Farsetia hamiltonii Royle, Glinus lotoides L., Heliotropium strigosum var. brevifolium (Wall.) C.B.Clarke, Indigofera linnaei Ali, Kohautia aspera (B.Heyne ex Roth) Bremek., Mollugo cerviana (L.) Ser., Phyllanthus species, Polygala abyssinica R.Br. ex Fresen., Portulaca oleracea L., Pulicaria crispa (Forssk.) Oliv., Solanum albicaule Kotschy ex Dunal, Tribulus alatus Drège ex C.Presl, Tribulus terrestris L., and  Zygophyllum simplex L.

Other associated trees and shrubs include Calotropis procera (Aiton) W.T. Aiton, Capparis decidua (Forssk.) Edgew., Leptadenia pyrotechnica (Forssk.) Decne., Prosopis cineraria (L.) Druce, Salvadora oleoides Decne. and Ziziphus sp.

Tribulus ochroleucus (Maire) Ozenda & Quezel is comparatively less common than T. terrestris L. It can be easily recognized in the field by its semi-erect habit and 4–5 subequally lobedschizocarps without any wings or spines. It can be found growing in grey brown desert soil that is mixed with red and yellow soil. T. ochroleucus (Maire) Ozenda & Quezel is closely allied to T. mollis Ehrenb. ex Schweinf. but differs in entire plant and the fruit does not have prominently silky hair.



For image - - click here





Ghafoor, A. (1974) Flora of Pakistan No. 76. January. Zygophyllaceae, University Karachi; First Edition, 76: 1–35.  

Maire, R. (1933). Mission du Hoggar II. Études sur la Flore et la Végétation du Sahara central. Mémoires de la Société d’histoire naturelle de l’Afrique du nord 3: 36 pl., 2 cartes: 272.

Ahmad, A. & A.H. Mohamed (2005). A Taxonomic Study of the Genus Tribulus L. in Egypt. Arab Universities Journal of Agricultural Sciences   13(2): 197–206.

Bhandari, M.M. (1990). Flora of Indian Desert. MPS. Repros, Jodhpur, 435 pp.

Shetty, B.V. & R.P. Pandey (1983). Flora of Tonk District. Botanical Survey of India, Calcutta, i+312 pp.

Shetty, B.V. & V. Singh (1987). Flora of Rajasthan. Botanical Survey of India, Calcutta, i+452 pp.

Shetty, B.V. & V. Singh (1991). Flora of Rajasthan. Botanical Survey of India, Calcutta, ii+453–860 pp.

Shetty, B.V. & V. Singh (1993). Flora of Rajasthan. Botanical Survey of India, Calcutta, iii+861–1246 pp.  

Singh, V. (1983). Flora of Banswara, Rajasthan. Botanical Survey of India, Calcutta, 312 pp. 

Singh, V. & M. Singh (2006). Biodiversity of Desert National Park, Rajasthan. Botanical Survey of India, Kolkata, 343 pp.

Tiagi, Y.D. & N.C. Aery (2007). Flora of Rajasthan (South & South East Region). Himanshu Publications, New Delhi, 725 pp.

Sharma, S. & B. Tiagi (1979). Flora of North-East Rajasthan. Kalyani Publishers, New Delhi, 540 pp.

Singh, P. & V. Singh, Editors Hajra, P.K & V.J. Nair (1997). Zygophyllaceae. Flora of India Volume 4. Botanical Survey of India, Calcutta: 51–57.

Thomas, J. (2006). Taxonomic Status of Some of the Tribulus species in the Indian Subcontinent. Saudi Journal of Biological Sciences 13(1): 7–12.