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Common Name: Unicorn Plant
Proboscidea louisianica is an annual plant that can grow up to 1.00 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and source of materials.
Southern N. America - Indiana to Iowa, Utah, Texas and New Mexico.
River banks and waste places[
]. Naturalized as a weed in Portugal and S.E. Russia[
Requires a well-drained porous soil in a warm sheltered position[
A frost-tender species, it can be grown outdoors in Britain as a half-hardy annual.
This species is closely related to P. fragrans[
This species has occasionally been cultivated as a food crop[
Young fruits, harvested whilst still tender enough to be pierced with a fork, can be sliced and added to soups as a thickening agent[
]. They can also be parboiled and eaten as a vegetable or pickled in vinegar[
]. They are sometimes pickled when immature[
]. The fruit is about 4 - 6mm long[
Seed - raw or cooked. High in protein[
] and in oil[
An edible oil is obtained from the seed[
]. No more details are given.
A black dye can be obtained from the seedpods[
The long pointed seed capsule horns can be used as the black pattern material in coiled basketry[
Seed - sow spring in a warm greenhouse. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out after the last expected frosts[