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Proboscidea althaeifolia
DESERT UNICORN-PLANT

Higher Taxonomy
Family: MartyniaceaeView Description 

Common Name: UNICORN-PLANT FAMILY
Habit: Annual, perennial herb, glandular-hairy, generally strongly scented. Leaf: 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, 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, tip incurved, splitting to form 2 claws.
Genera In Family: 4 genera, 16 species: generally +- tropical America; some cultivated. Note: No evidence that insects stuck to glands are digested.
eFlora Treatment Author: Margriet Wetherwax & Lawrence R. Heckard
Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: ProboscideaView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Common Name: UNICORN-PLANT
Habit: 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, 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 flared lobes, throat and lower limb with colored lines (nectar guides). Fruit: body 5--10 cm, fusiform, smooth, rough, or spiny, crested with branched projections generally only along upper suture; claws 1.5--3 × body. Seed: 8--13 mm, angled, generally black, corky.
Species In Genus: 8 species: America. Etymology: (Greek: elephant's trunk) Note: Fruit dispersed by attachment of claw to animals. Proboscidea parviflora subsp. parviflora not in California according to some reports, naturalized in California according to others.
Unabridged Note: All California material previously identified as Proboscidea parviflora subsp. parviflora belongs instead to Proboscidea parviflora var. hohokamiana Bretting, according to some but not all reports; in California only in cultivation according to some reports, naturalized in California according to others; in Arizona cultivated by Native Americans for fibers from fruit.

Proboscidea althaeifolia (Benth.) Decne.
NATIVE
Habit: Perennial herb; taproot fusiform, tuber-like, in width > stem base, yellow. Stem: decumbent. Leaf: blade 3--7 cm wide, broad-ovate to round or deltate, generally palmately 3--5-lobed, crenate. Inflorescence: 5--50-flowered, generally exceeding leaves. Flower: calyx 5-lobed, lower 3 > upper; corolla yellow to orange with various darker markings. Fruit: body +- 1 cm wide, lanceolate, spines 0. Seed: 6--7 mm.
Ecology: Sandy places; Elevation: < 1000 m. Bioregional Distribution: se DMoj, DSon; Distribution Outside California: to Texas, northern Mexico, Peru. Flowering Time: May--Aug
Synonyms: Proboscidea altheaefolia (Benth.) Decne., orth. var.
eFlora Treatment Author: Margriet Wetherwax & Lawrence R. Heckard
Jepson Online Interchange
Listed on CNPS Rare Plant Inventory

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Citation for this treatment: Margriet Wetherwax & Lawrence R. Heckard 2016. Proboscidea althaeifolia, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_IJM.pl?tid=39929, accessed on May 02, 2016.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2016. Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/IJM.html, accessed on May 02, 2016.


Proboscidea althaeifolia
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© 2011 James M. Andre
Proboscidea althaeifolia
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© 2011 Neal Kramer
Proboscidea althaeifolia
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© 2013 Neal Kramer
Proboscidea althaeifolia
click for enlargement
© 2013 Neal Kramer
Proboscidea althaeifolia
click for enlargement
© 2013 Neal Kramer
Proboscidea althaeifolia
click for enlargement
© 2013 Neal Kramer

More photos of Proboscidea althaeifolia in CalPhotos


Geographic subdivisions for Proboscidea althaeifolia:
se DMoj, DSon;
Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
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map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.