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Proboscidea louisianica   (P. Mill. ) Thell.
Mitchell County, Kansas
Height: 6-36 inches
Family: Pedaliaceae - Unicorn-plant Family
Flowering Period:   July, August, September,October
Also Called: Unicorn plant.
Stems: Erect or occasionally decumbent, thick, much-branched, densely glandular-hairy.
Leaves: Opposite below or occasionally alternate above, simple, on stalks 1 to 10 inches long, heart- to kidney-shaped, 1 to 7 inches long, 1 to 8 inches wide; margins wavy to entire; tips rounded to pointed.
Inflorescences: Racemes, 3 to 12 inches long, 4-28-flowered, terminal.
Flowers: Calyces 5-lobed, lobes unequal, blunt-tipped; corollas funnel-shaped, 5-lobed, 1 to 2 inches long, pinkish white with yellow lines and purple or red spots inside throats; stamens 4 fertile, 1-3 sterile.
Fruits: Capsules, woody, two-valved, 3 to 4 inches long, about 1 inch thick; beaks longer than seed bearing bodies, splitting at maturity into 2 claws; tips curving back; seeds many, narrowly ovate, 1/3 to 1/2 inch long, somewhat flattened, rough, black.
Habitat: Waste ground, roadsides, fields, and overgrown pastures, most abundant in sandy soils.
Distribution: Throughout, more frequent in west 2/3 of Kansas.
Reproduction: Seeds are dispersed when shaken from capsules clinging to the legs, hair, or wool of grazing animals.
Uses: Native Americans used the dried pods to make a black dye, and pioneers sometimes pickled the immature fruit.
Comments: The stem and leaves have an unpleasant odor. The claws can cause damage to the eyes of livestock and lessen the value of wool.

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