Proboscidea althaeifolia

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Proboscidea althaeifolia
Proboscidea althaeifolia MHNT.jpg
Two views of the same capsule of P. althaeifolia
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Martyniaceae
Genus: Proboscidea
Species: P. althaeifolia
Binomial name
Proboscidea althaeifolia
(Benth.) Decne.

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.[1]

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