Proboscidea louisiana (Mill.) Thell.
Common Name: UNICORN PLANT
Coefficient of Conservatism: *
Coefficient of Wetness: 0
Wetness Index: FAC
Physiognomy: Ad A-Forb

The native range of this species is apparently from southernmost United States into Mexico, but it has spread widely as a weed even to the latitude of Michigan, where it has been collected (rarely) as a farm and garden weed and in roadside ditches. First collected by C. K. Dodge in Port Huron (St. Clair Co.) in 1899, who noted on his label “Plentiful” in a cornfield.

This is a bushy, clammy-pubescent, bad-smelling annual with large whitish to pale purplish, darker spotted, flowers. The fruit is a drupe with woody inner wall prolonged into an arched beak (which may be twice as long as the body) that splits into two halves, each hooked at the tip, like two large claws. The leaves are palmately veined, entire, ± cordate, all or mostly opposite. The fruit is a peculiar object often used in novelties and winter flower arrangements.

Locations

Mecosta County
Oakland County
St. Clair County
Washtenaw County
Wayne County

Citation:

MICHIGAN FLORA ONLINE. A. A. Reznicek, E. G. Voss, & B. S. Walters. February 2011. University of Michigan. Web. December 18, 2017. http://www.michiganflora.net/species.aspx?id=1684.