Nov. 15, 2020

unicorn plant, Proboscidea louisianica

It is not clear where these unicorns are from.  They must have started somewhere in the southern areas.  Enough so that they are named for Louisiana.  But it could have been farther south.  Mexico?  In any case, their migration to the north began in primitive times.  They are too fascinating and useful to have been neglected.  The one-horned fruit is up to four inches long.  It was used raw for food, and dried as a tool, particularly in weaving.  The seeds were eaten.  The foliage is also edible.  I even just learned a new word from it.  The Pima people used unicorn moxa to treat rheumatism.  Moxa?  It's mushed up fuzzy leaves that are then burned and inhaled.  Unicorn plant has now been reported from every state except AK, AZ, HI, MT, ND, UT, and WI, and from ON and SK.  Beal Gardens, MSU, 7/27/11.  Cat's-claw family, Martyniaceae.