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Proboscidea louisianica (Mill.) Thell.
Louisiana Devil's-claw, Devil's-claw, Ram's horn, Unicorn plant, Proboscis flower
Synonym(s): Proboscidea louisiana
USDA Symbol: prlo
USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (I)
Ramís-horn or devilís claw is a low, spreading, bushy plant, 1-2 ft. tall, with large, long-stemmed, palmately lobed leaves. Leaves, 5-inches across and up to 1 foot long, covered with glandular nectar which often collects sand particles. Its creamy-yellow, tubular, five-lobed flowers are spotted with purple and appear in few-flowered, axillary clusters after summer rains. The fruit is a fleshy, curved pod that splits into two claws when it dries.
The name unicorn plant refers to the remarkable fruits. These are at first fleshy, the flesh later falling away, leaving an inner woody shell tipped by a long, curved beak (the horn of the unicorn). The beak splits lengthwise, and the shell opens between the two parts of the split beak. These fruits are easily caught on the legs of deer, rabbits, and cattle or hooked in the wool of sheep by their spreading claws (thus the name devils claw). The fruits are collected and used in nature crafts.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Annual Habit: Herb Flower:
Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Pink , Yellow , Purple
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep
, WY Native Distribution: Native
Mex. & possibly LA; naturalized in the s.e. and as far n. as ME
& MN Native Habitat:
River banks; meadows; waste areas
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
Soil Description: Moist, sandy soils. Sandy, Sandy Loam
The fruits are collected and used in nature crafts. Use Food:
This plant is often cultivated for the fruit,
which is pickled and eaten like okra. Fragrant Flowers:
PropagationPropagation Material: Seeds
Description: Propagate by seed.
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: Not Available
Commercially Avail: yes
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National Wetland Indicator Status
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1
(Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here
for map of regions.
Wildflower Center Seed BankLBJWC-1175
Collected 2007-07-03 in Hays County by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Record Last Modified: 2013-08-23
Research By: NPIS, ADA