CPC National Collection Plant Profile

Proboscidea sabulosa

Photographer:
Kathy Rice

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CPC National Collection Plant Profile

Proboscidea sabulosa


Family: 
Pedaliaceae  
Common Names: 
dune Devil's claw, dune unicorn-plant
Author: 
Correll
Growth Habit: 
Forb/herb
CPC Number: 
3640

Distribution
Protection
Conservation
References


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Proboscidea sabulosaenlarge
Photographer: Kathy Rice


Proboscidea sabulosa is Not Sponsored
Primary custodian for this plant in the CPC National Collection of Endangered Plants is: 
Kathleen C. Rice contributed to this Plant Profile.

 
Proboscidea sabulosa


Proboscidea sabulosa is an annual, hairy- and sticky-leaved herb with rounded leaves. Plants are about 0.4 m across and high, with rounded dark green leaves that are very glandular and somewhat pungent. The creamy white, purple spotted flowers grow in clusters under leaves. The woody fruits are large and distinctive, forming two long curved horns at maturity. The large seeds, approximately 1 cm long, are corky. Native Americans used the fruits in basket-making, and pickled the young fruits.

Distribution & Occurrence

State Range
  Texas
State Range of  Proboscidea sabulosa
Habitat
  P. sabulosa grows in deep sands of semi-stabilized dunes in the desert scrub and arid grasslands of the Chihuahuan desert. Found at elevations of 900 to 1,400 meters (3,000 to 4,600 feet). (New Mexico Rare Plant Technical Council 1999)

Distribution
  Found in five counties in New Mexico, adjacent Texas, and Mexico, in the Chihuahaun desert. (New Mexico Rare Plant Technical Council 1999)

Number Left
  Two populations are reported in west Texas (Sivinski and Cully 1990).

Protection

Global Rank:  
G3
 
1/16/2002
Guide to Global Ranks
Federal Status:  
RT
 
1/19/1996
Guide to Federal Status
Recovery Plan:  
No
 

State/Area Protection
  State/Area Rank Status Date  
  New Mexico S3 8/29/2002  
  Texas S1 1/9/1987  

Conservation, Ecology & Research

Ecological Relationships
  As stated by the New Mexico Rare Plant Technical Council (1999):
A widely scattered, regional endemic annual plant.
Can become locally abundant during wet years.
Dry fruits are dispersed by attaching to the feet of local animals.
Not palatable to grazing wildlife or cattle.

Threats
  Loss of habitat.

Current Research Summary
  Proboscidea is an interesting genus in cultivation. It is reputedly difficult to germinate from seed, and indeed, recent frozen storage tests at Desert Botanical Garden have had disappointing results. However, Proboscidea althaeafolia is being grown in a display garden on the ethnobotanical trail at the Garden with relatively little effort. Seeds are sown directly into the soil with no pre-treatment, and found to germinate readily.

Current Management Summary
  There is no formal management plan.

Research Management Needs
  Needs include population monitoring and understanding aspects of reproductive biology and ecology.

Ex Situ Needs
 

References

Books (Single Authors)

Correll, D.S.; Johnston, M.C. 1970. Manual of the vascular plants of Texas. Renner: Texas Research Foundation. 1881p.

Henrickson, J.; Johnston, M.C. 1997. A flora of the Chihuahuan Desert region.

Kartesz, J.T. 1993. Species distribution data for vascular plants of 70 geographical areas, from unpublished data files at the North Carolina Botanical Garden.

Kartesz, J.T. 1996. Species distribution data at state and province level for vascular plant taxa of the United States, Canada, and Greenland (accepted records), from unpublished data files at the North Carolina Botanical Garden.

Warnock, B.H. 1994. Wildflowers of the Guadalupe Mountains and the sand dune country, Texas. Alpine, Texas: Sul Ross State Univ. 176p.

Books (Sections)

Kartesz, J.T. 1999. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the U.S., Canada, and Greenland. In: Kartesz, J.T.; Meacham, C.A., editors. Synthesis of the North American Flora, Version 1.0. North Carolina Botanical Garden. Chapel Hill, NC.

Books (Edited Volumes)

New Mexico Native plants Protection Advisory Committee. 1984 A handbook of rare and endemic plants of New Mexico. Albuquerque, NM: University of New Mexico Press.

Electronic Sources

(1999). New Mexico Rare Plants Information. New Mexico Rare Plant Technical Council: Albuquerque, NM. Version 15. http://nmrareplants.unm.edu/nmrptc/rarelist.htm. Accessed: 2002.

(2000). Center for Plant Conservation's National Living Collection--Profiles. Desert Botanical Garden. http://www.dbg.org/Collections/cpc.html. Accessed: 2002.

Journal Articles

Bretting, P.K.; Nilsson, S. 1988. Pollen morphology of the Martyniaceae and its systematic implications. Systematic Botany. 13, 1: 51-59.

Correll, D.S. 1966. Some additions and corrections to the Flora of Texas - III. Rhodora. 68: 426-428.

Van Eseltine, G.A. 1929. A preliminary study of the unicorn plants. New York Agr. Exp. Sta. Tech. Gull. 149

Reports

Sivinski, R.; Cully, A. 1990. Status report on Proboscidea sabulosa. Albuquerque, New Mexico: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, New Mexico Ecological Services Field Office.

Theses

Bretting, P.K. 1981. A systematic and ethnobotanical survey of Proboscidea and allied genera of the Martyniaceae. [Ph.D. Thesis]: Indiana University. Bloomington.


  This profile was updated on 3/4/2010
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