Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.
Search native plant database:
Proboscidea louisianica (P. Mill.) Thellung
Devil's claw, Ram's horn, Unicorn plant, Proboscis flower
USDA Symbol: prlo
USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.
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
AL , AR , CA , CO , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , IA , ID , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MS , NC , NE , NH , NJ , NM , NV , NY , OH , OK , OR , PA , RI , SC , SD , TN , TX , VA , VT , WA , WV , WY Native Distribution: Native
to TX, Mex. & possibly LA; naturalized in the s.e. and as far n. as ME & MN Native Habitat:
River banks; meadows; waste areas USDA Native Status: L48(N), CAN(I)
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
Find Seed or Plants
Order seed of this species from Native American Seed and help support the Wildflower Center.
Wildflower Center Seed BankLBJWC-1175
Collected 2012-07-04 in Hays County by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Recommended Species Lists
Find native plant species by state. Each list contains commercially available species suitable for gardens and planned landscapes. Once you have selected a collection, you can browse the collection or search within it using the combination search.
View Recommended Species page
Record Modified: 2012-05-11
Research By: NPIS, ADA