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MARTYNIACEAE

UNICORN-PLANT FAMILY

Lawrence R. Heckard

Annual, perennial herb, glandular-hairy, generally strongly scented
Leaves simple, opposite or alternate; stipules 0; petiole long
Inflorescence: raceme, terminal, bracted; bractlets 2, just below flower
Flower bisexual; sepals 5, ± unequal; corolla 2-lipped, generally 5-lobed; stamens epipetalous, generally 2 long, 2 short, 1 vestigial; ovary superior, 1-chambered, placentas 2, parietal, each 2-lobed, style > ovary, curved, stigma 2-lobed, flat, generally closing when touched
Fruit: capsule, drupe-like; outer layer fleshy, deciduous; inner layer ultimately exposed, woody; beak incurved, splitting to form 2 horns (claws)
Genera in family: 3 genera, 15 species: generally ± tropical Am; some cultivated. Placed by some authors in Pedaliaceae (Sesame Family)
Reference: [Bretting & Nilsson 1988 Syst Bot 13:51–59]

PROBOSCIDEA

UNICORN PLANT, DEVIL'S CLAW

Annual, perennial herb; taproot branched or tuberous
Stem prostrate to spreading, generally < 1 m
Leaf: blade broadly ovate to round or triangular, palmately veined (generally palmately lobed), base cordate
Inflorescence: bractlets < calyx
Flower: calyx 1–2 cm, generally 5-lobed and split to base on lower side (or sepals free); corolla 2–5 cm, bell- to funnel-shaped, showy, tube cylindric, generally < 1 cm, bent downward, throat 10–30 mm, limb with 5 flaring lobes, throat and lower limb with colored lines ("nectar guides")
Fruit: body 5–10 cm, fusiform; surface sculptured or spiny throughout, crested with branched projections generally only along upper suture; beak (claws) 1.5–3 X body
Seed 8–13 mm, angled, generally black, corky
Species in genus: 8 species: Am
Etymology: (Greek: beak)
Dispersed by attachment of fruit claw to animals.

Introduced

P. lutea (Lindl.) Stapf

Annual, ill-smelling
Leaf: blade 10–20 cm wide, blade ± rounded, sometimes angled, entire to dentate
Inflorescence few–many-flowered, generally overtopped by leaves
Flower barely fragrant; sepals free, upper 3 narrower; corolla yellow, often with orange tinge, generally reddish-dotted
Fruit: body 3–4 cm thick, ovoid; surface short-spiny
Chromosomes: 2n=30,32
Ecology: Uncommon. Open, disturbed places
Elevation: < 500 m.
Bioregional distribution: Great Central Valley, Central Western California, Southwestern California
Distribution outside California: native to S.America
Synonyms: Ibicella l. (Lindl.) Eselt

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