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Desert Unicorn-plant
Proboscidea althaeifolia
About Desert Unicorn-plant (Proboscidea althaeifolia) 0 Nurseries Carry This Plant Proboscidea althaeifolia is a species of flowering plant in the family Martyniaceae known by the common names desert unicorn-plant and yellow-flowered devil's claw. It is native to the desert southwest of the United States, where it grows in sandy habitat and blooms during the hot summer. This is a perennial herb growing from a thick, tuberlike yellow root. The stem is decumbent, creeping along the ground. The shiny leaves have rounded, oval, or roughly triangular blades up to 7 centimeters long which are deeply lobed and wavy along the edges. The inflorescence is an array of many showy, fragrant, bell-shaped flowers with five lobes flaring several centimeters wide. The flower is yellow to orange or apricot with an intricate pattern of speckles and streaks, its lower lobe lined with a nectar guide. The fruit is a large seed pod many centimeters long, a cylindrical body tapering into a very long, thin, curving tail. As the fruit dries the tail cracks open and splits into two hooked, claw-like halves. These hard, dry fruits were used as tools by local Native Americans.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Plant Type
Perennial herb

Wildlife Supported

Butterflies & moths hosted ( 1 likely * ) SHOW ALL

Landscaping Information
Natural Setting
Annual Precipitation: 3.1" - 34.8", Summer Precipitation: 0.58" - 1.35", Coldest Month: 45.9" - 62.8", Hottest Month: 73.2" - 88.4", Humidity: 2.61" - 40.74", Elevation: 156" - 1944"

Alternative Names
Common Names: Yellow-flowered Devil's Claw

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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