Fairy Wand, False Unicorn Plant, Devil's Claw

Chamaelirium luteum

Family: Melanthiaceae
Genus: Chamaelirium (kam-ay-LEER-ee-um) (Info)
Species: luteum (LOO-tee-um) (Info)




Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:

Light Shade


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


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

Birmingham, Alabama

Cleveland, Georgia

Tupelo, Mississippi

Germanton, North Carolina

Port Orchard, Washington

Gardeners' Notes:


On Aug 21, 2015, Ted_B from Birmingham, AL (Zone 8a) wrote:

This threatened plant is fairly easily propagated from seed indoors, which is a far better option than attempting to harvest wild specimens. Plants prefer moist but well-drained soils in an area that does not accumulate much leaf mulch. This plant thrives in dappled shade, and is fairly resilient once established. When in need of water, the leaves of its rosettes will begin to go limp. When you see this, just add water, and your plants will keep growing. Soon enough, you will be able to predict a regular watering schedule. Experience has demonstrated this protocol to be more reliable than keeping the soil consistently moist.


On May 31, 2014, Doofcat from GERMANTON, NC wrote:

Five plants growing naturally on moist but well drained clearing in mesic hardwood forest in northern Piedmont of NC. I watched the plants for 3 years thinking they were a plaintain because of the rosettes. They did not bloom during those seasons. This year two of the plants grew larger and produced beautiful blooms, male and female plants. The male plant is shorter and has much longer raceme. The female plant is tall and stalky with more bracts and produced a shorter,rounder flower. Will try seed gathering this fall and see what happens.


On May 14, 2013, kattykorn from Cleveland, GA (Zone 7a) wrote:

Found growing in hardwood forest in fairly heavy shade. Beautiful leaf rosette, lovely little plant. According to my research can be propagated by seed but best from rhizome division. Has herbal uses, mostly related to infertility and to prevent miscarriage. Toxic in large amounts. Only noticed two plants because of the blooms, but apparently they will persist for years in heavy shade without blooming. So will search for more. I consider this a keeper and will attempt to propagate. Need both male and female plants for seed, so hope I have both.


On Sep 11, 2001, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

Plants are either male or female; both sexes required for fertile seed. The fruit is a small pod which splits open into three parts, the dry empty shells remaining on the stem.