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Proboscidea (plant)

  (Redirected from Unicorn plant)

Proboscidea is a genus of flowering plant in the family Martyniaceae, some of whose species are known as devil's claw, devil's horn, ram's horn, or unicorn plant. The plants produce long, hooked seed pods. The hooks catch on the feet of animals, and as the animals walk, the pods are ground or crushed open, dispersing the seeds. The name devil's claw is shared with the South African plant Harpagophytum procumbens.

Proboscidea louisianica 5.jpg
Proboscidea louisianica
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Martyniaceae
Genus: Proboscidea

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The fruits of all species are edible before they ripen and become woody. They can be steamed and eaten much like okra. Some species (particularly P. parviflora) are used in basket weaving by the Tohono O'odham who have selected for varieties with longer "claws."[1] The Hia ced O'odham and the Tohono O'odham eat the seeds, which in ancient times provided an important source of dietary oils.


Species include:

Proboscidea lutea is a synonym of Ibicella lutea.


  1. ^ a b "Devils Claws". Retrieved 18 March 2018. 

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