Re: Re: Devils Claw

John Taylor [The Banshee] (
Tue, 15 Feb 94 20:15:47 DST

>>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).

Well, that would make sense - Proboscidea lutea = Ibicella lutea according to
Gordon Cheers' CP listing. Is P. louisianica carnivorous like (or unlike?)
I. lutea - if so what's the mechanism?

>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.

I remembered Barry told me that it was a weed - that's why I was reluctant
to buy one (apart from the plant's rather nondescriptness... ;-) ) According
to an old gardening book I've got, the pods were pickled - any tried them??
(The ones on display looked pretty woody/stringy - probably young pods were
used - something like capers (which are flower buds?)).


| John Taylor [The Banshee] | Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology |
| | *EX* Department of Applied Physics |