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Caltrop; Bindii (Tribulus terrestris), fam. Zygophyllaceae.
A weed, not very common for local Kyiv flora; however, its seeds can be brought from other regions and give rise to a group of plants, like it is observed in one place in Alma-Atynska street. Transfer of the fruit is facilitated by their characteristic form – with thorns, piercing into tires, animals' wool, and people's skin – making it undesirable to walk barefoot on fruiting caltrop. The plants thickly cover the ground, and have elegant pinnate leaves, similar to the leaves of many legumes, arranged oppositely. The stem and the leaves are hairy. Such caltrop carpet is not afraid of moderate drought, so it is often met in the steppes and semi-deserts, delighting the eye with small yellow flowers in the end of summer.
Caltrop has diuretic, tonic and astringent properties. It is used as medicine against atherosclerosis combined with hypertension and angina pectoris. According to unproven data, it also increase the production of testosterone, the male hormone. Caltrop contains poisonous components, which content increase after rains.