Devil's Claw, Unicorn Plant

Proboscidea parviflora

Family: Pedaliaceae
Genus: Proboscidea (pro-bosk-ee-DEE-uh) (Info)
Species: parviflora (par-VEE-flor-uh) (Info)



Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


Not Applicable

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:

Magenta (Pink-Purple)

Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:

Late Summer/Early Fall


Unknown - Tell us

Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From softwood cuttings

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Arivaca, Arizona

Hereford, Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona

Columbus, Georgia

Lilburn, Georgia

Bloomington, Indiana

Derby, Kansas

Elephant Butte, New Mexico

Wallingford, Pennsylvania

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jan 4, 2012, joeswife from (Debra) Derby, KS (Zone 6a) wrote:

somehow this ended up in a pot of mine out front,I brought it in to savwe the seed pods, they are tuff to crack but managed to get some seeds, was told these grow wild here in Kansas, too. Hubby Loved the plant, so I will be trying to grow more.


On Dec 1, 2006, Xenomorf from Valley of the Sun, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

I've seen these growing in the wild on the West Ruby Road Trail in Arizona (South of Tucson), off of Interstate 19 through to Ruby, AZ and on to Arivaca, AZ.


On Dec 17, 2003, Organik wrote:

This is a fascinating plant, always getting a response from passers-by. The 'claws' are the two curving hooks on the seed pod, that latch on to cattle and anyone else unlucky enough to step on this plant. There are at least five species- some are eaten like okra, others are used to weave baskets, but mostly they are considered noxious weeds. There is one cute, tiny species from southern Mexico, and the largest is from Brazil. They have interesting relatives in S. Africa and Madagascar. The leaves can be sticky and smelly, and the seeds may need to be incised to hurry germination. I have free seeds for anybody interested in growing them. ''