Proboscidea sabulosa

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Proboscidea sabulosa

Vulnerable (NatureServe)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Martyniaceae
Genus: Proboscidea
Species: P. sabulosa
Binomial name
Proboscidea sabulosa

Proboscidea sabulosa is a species of flowering plant in the family Martyniaceae known by the common names sanddune unicorn-plant,[1] dune unicorn plant and dune devil's claw. It is native to Chihuahua in Mexico and New Mexico and Texas in the United States.[2]

This annual herb has large sticky oval-shaped leaves which are strongly scented and dark green in color. The plant grows up to about 40 centimeters tall. The tubular flowers are cream-colored with purple spots. The large fruit is woody and has two curved appendages. When it is dry, the appendages help it attach to the feet of animals. It contains seeds about one centimeter long.[2][3]

This plant grows in sandy habitat dominated by Havard oaks[2] and Chihuahuan Desert scrub.[3] It is much more common in wet years. It is associated with Abronia fragrans, Andropogon hallii, Artemisia filifolia, Cenchrus incertus, Chloris cucullata, Heliotropium convolvulaceum, Oryzopsis hymenoides, Palafoxia sphacelata, Prosopis glandulosa, Sporobolus giganteus, Sporobolus cryptandrus, and Yucca elata.[2]

Native American groups used the young fruits for food and the dry fruits in basketry.[3]


  1. ^ "Proboscidea sabulosa". Natural Resources Conservation Service PLANTS Database. USDA. Retrieved 14 October 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c d Proboscidea sabulosa. The Nature Conservancy.
  3. ^ a b c Proboscidea sabulosa. Center for Plant Conservation.

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