Doubleclaw (Parviflora)

The Doubleclaw (Parviflora) is generally described as an annual forb/herb. This is native to the U.S. (United States) .

General Characteristics

General: Martynia Family (Martyniaceae). This annual plant has broadly ovate-triangular leaf blades 5-15 cm wide that are entire to shallowly 3-7 lobed. The inflorescence is 4-10 flowered and ranges from white to pink. The throat of the corolla is mottled purple with two lines of purplish spots or not. The nectar guides are yellow. The fruits have beaks or claws and black seeds. The plants from the desert have white seeds with claws that are greater than 18 cm long and have been called var. hohokamiana.

Required Growing Conditions

Found in disturbed dry places below 1000 m. in the deserts of southwestern California to Arizona, southern Nevada, to western Texas and northern Mexico. For current distribution, please consult the Plant Profile page for this species on the PLANTS Web site.

\* MERGEFORMATINET W.L. Wagner Smithsonian Institution, Botany Department

Cultivation and Care

Start devil's claw by seed. The seeds should be soaked in warm water in a clean vessel for 8 hours prior to spring planting. After soaking, plant the seeds immediately in full sun in a well-drained soil and at a depth that is the width of the seeds. Water the seeds, keeping the area slightly moist. After seedlings have appeared, allow the surface of the soil to dry between watering. In areas with summer rainfall, only supplement watering if rain is sparse. In areas without summer rainfall, mimic this rainfall pattern by watering once every 2 to 3 weeks. Once the seedpods have started to ripen, stop watering. When the seedpods mature, collect them and shake the seeds to get them out of the pods and let them air dry in partial shade in a screened-in porch or indoor. Keep the seeds in a container or paper bag on an open shelf at room temperature until the next planting cycle, the following spring. Devil's claw does not need protection from wildlife.

General Upkeep and Control

Traditionally tribes in the Southwest saved the seed from those pods with longer claws and planted them apart from the others. The longer claws were highly desirable for basketry design material. Today, this white seeded form with longer horns is different enough morphologically to be named as a special domesticated variety of Proboscidea parviflora var. hohokamiana.

Plant Basics
General Type Forb/herb
Growth Duration Annual
Plant Nativity Native to U.S.

Source: USDA, NRCS, PLANTS Database,
National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA