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Proboscidea althaeifolia

Proboscidea althaeifolia (Benth.) Decne.

Desert Unicorn-plant, Devil's Claw

Pedaliaceae (Sesame Family)

Synonym(s): Martynia althaeifolia, Martynia arenaria, Proboscidea arenaria

USDA Symbol: pral4

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

A coarse plant with stems lying on ground and few yellow to orange, bilaterally symmetrical flowers in racemes.

As the plump fruit matures, it divides into halves and its outer, fleshy layer peels off, revealing the hard inner portion of the fruit, the single horn of which splits into two "devil's claws." There are several species in the Southwest, some with pink or magenta flowers. The dark fibers in the pods are used with fibers of other plants in weaving fine baskets.


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Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Orange , Yellow
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep


USA: AZ , CA , NM , TX
Native Distribution: Southern California east to western Texas.
Native Habitat: Sandy soil in deserts and arid grasslands.

Additional resources

USDA: Find Proboscidea althaeifolia in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Proboscidea althaeifolia in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Proboscidea althaeifolia


Record Modified: 2022-09-22
Research By: TWC Staff

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