Re: Devil's Claw

Terry Bertozzi (
Tue, 15 Feb 1994 05:48:00 +1030

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Posting-date: Mon, 14 Feb 1994 13:30:00 +1030

>What is "Devil's claw"? Gardenworld had a few plants of this for sale
>which they claimed were carnivorous. The leaves look like
>Pelagonium's, the flowers are tubular and the seed-pods are large and -
>naturally - look like large claws which split into two halves (joined
>at the base). As there wasn't any botanical name attached I couldn't
>identify it - but it sounds like Ibicella (I don't think it had yellow
>flowers though, so it may not be I. lutea). BTW, the claimed that the
>pods could kill sheep... >


Could be that you have seen Proboscidea louisianica which have purplish
flowers. Apparently there are other features that separate them (This
is your bit Barry).

As to killing sheep well...... They are a noxious weed in New South Wales and
except for the inner Melbourne area. The pod is very tough and sharp when it
dries and can hook into the sheep's jaw or hooves which is probably very
painful. I think the main problem was that the pods got caught up in the wool
and used to break the shearing combs, which didn't impress the shearers.

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