Devil's Claws: Hitchhikers On Big Animals

Discussion in 'Celebrate Biodiversity' started by anza, Dec 24, 2011.

  1. anza

    anza Active Member 10 Years

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    Devil's Claws(Proboscidea louisianica): Hitchhikers On Big Animals

    I was cruising some images on google and stumbled across this image below:


    It reminded me of the very first time I had encountered what is known in the Southwestern United States as Devil's Claw. I was on my way back from Prescott Arizona on old Hwy 60 and out in the middle of nowhere needed to easy nature and take a leak off the side of the road. Pulled over and went behind a Mesquite tree and afterwards came back to the truck. Started down the road and noticed off and on an annoying needling sensation on the back of my right heal. Reached down to scratch my heal and noticed there was some sort of strange looking claw attached snuggly on the back of my sock and shoe. Looked at first like some sort of freaky looking bizzare desert creature I had never seen before. Scared the heck out of me.

    Started weaving all over the road. Finally pulled over and stopped after failed attempts to detached this bizzare thing off my ankle. Finally got it off and almost stepped on it to crush and kill the thing, until finally I actually realized it wasn't some sort of creepy insect. All of this caught the attention of an Arizona Highway Patrol who wanted to know what was going on. I explained my need to stop and the resulting imaginary attack once back inside my truck. He simply laughed and told me what it was. I took the thing home as a souvenir of sorts and have it still to this very day. Apparently I had picked it up when walking through some of the tall grass next to the Mesquite tree. But the above pic really brought back some funny memories and the fascinating research I did on the beautiful desert plant.

    Here's an article in this link below about the plant and various varieties and early Native American uses for it. The USDA chart says it is present in Washington state and one of the Canadian Saskatchewan Province.

    AND Dave's Garden newsletter:

    PlantFiles: Devil's Claw, Unicorn Plant, Ram's Horn
    Proboscidea louisianica



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