Visitors 7
Modified 23-Aug-12
Created 23-Aug-12
50 photos

Proboscidea louisianica

Devil's claw, Ram's horn, Unicorn plant, Proboscis flower

Ram’s-horn or devil’s 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. Thefruit 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.

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