Devil’s Claw – Identification

Q: What kind of flower is this in the wildflower garden at my home? The plant is sticky and has a funny smell.

A: Photos of this distinctive plant were originally sent to me by Vicki H., who had queried everyone she knew about it. It sprouted under her birdfeeder. The orchid-like flowers, sticky leaves and odd seed pods were like nothing she (or I) had ever seen.

After much online discussion, she identified it through a friend in Germany.

It is devil’s claw, Proboscidea louisianica

This annual plant is native to the Southwest. The oddly-shaped seeds cling to animals, which spread them far and wide.

It comes back from seed each year so you can control it simply by pulling the seedlings as necessary.


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