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texas weed with heart shaped seed pods

Across the sandy, arid areas of west and south Texas grows Devil’s Claw. though sometimes its hooked seedpods deliver it all the way to east Texas fields, too! This large weed, practically a bush, appears after a good rain and then grows throughout the hot summer. Proboscidea parviflora is an annual which grows to maturity and then dies over the course of the summer. This annual species has pinkish flowers. The perennial is Proboscidea altheaefolia and it’s flowers are yellowish-white. It may die back in the winter but then returns from its deep, thick taproot. The leaves of both species are heart-shaped, have sticky surfaces, and smell bad. Mature seedpods can reach fifteen inches in lengths. Seeds are black in color but a white-seeded variety was also grown by Native Americans. The pods split into two or sometimes three sections when mature.

North American distribution, attributed to U. S. Department of Agriculture.

The fibers of the mature seedpods were prized for weaving baskets.

Mature seedpod starting to split open.

Photo compliments of Terri Cox.

Close-up of pink, annual Devil’s Claw (Proboscidea parviflora) flower.

Compliments of Brandy McDaniel.

Texas distribution, attributed to U. S. Department of Agriculture. The marked counties are guidelines only. Plants may appear in other counties, especially if used in landscaping.

Scientific Name(s): Proboscidea altheaefolia and Proboscidea parviflora
Abundance: uncommon
What: young seed pods, seeds
How: seed pods cooked; seeds raw or cooked
Where: fields, disturbed soil, full sun
When: summer
Nutritional Value:

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