Devil’s Claw

Proboscidea louisianica

Unicorn Plant, Ram's Horn, Desert Orchid

About This Plant

Sun. A western annual with a weedy, drought-tolerant habit suitable for creating groundcover on thin unwatered sites or recently disturbed soils, including new subdivisions. Orchid-like pink blooms appear throughout the warm season. The thick leaves drip with sweat-like nectar. It’s best known for its extravagant green fruit pods, which eventually dry out and split lengthwise to form grasping, curling claws. These pods are irresistable to children and plant collectors, but they can be irritating to livestock or pets if they become entangled, and serve to easily invade waste places and fields. Still, it makes a fun easy addition to any garden.

Origins: Southwestern US and Mexico


Prefers some soil moisture, but it can usually get all it needs from rain. Generally no grooming whatsoever is required, thankfully, since touching the sappy leaves leaves a sticky residue. Just cut back or remove at the end of the growing season.

A wild sesame with fascinating seed pods.

Min. Height: 2'

Max Height: 3 feet'

Min. Width: 12'

Max Width: 18 inches'

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