The botanical name of Devil’s claw is Martynia annua and the plant is native to the southern United States. The Devil’s claw plant is part of a small genus called Martynia, of tropical to subtropical species, all of which bear a curved or beaked fruit that splits into 2 hemispheres shaped like claws. Actually the plant info includes its other colorful names; grappleclaw, unicorn plants, rams’ horn, and double claw. The Devil’s claw plants are easy to start from seed inside, however the plants grow best outdoors once they establish.  

 Furthermore, the plant’s family is Proboscidea, likely because the devil's claw seed pod may also resemble a large nose. The Devil’s claw plants are a sprawling plant with slightly hairy leaves, much like a pumpkin. There are actually 2 main varieties. One of the varieties is an annual with triangular leaves and white to pink blooms with mottled corollas. While the yellow flowering varieties of devil’s claw are a perennial plant but has much the same characteristics. It also boasts hairy stems with a slightly sticky texture. The devil's claw seed pod has a feral quality and tends to stick to pant legs and animal fur, transporting the Devil's claw seeds to new locations that are appropriate for growing the plant.  


How to Grow Devil's Claw

The devil’s claw plants are found in hot, dry, disturbed sites. The devil's claw plant care is about as easy as caring for a weed, and devil's claw seeds grow without any intervention in arid zones. One of the preferred methods for growing devil’s claw plant is from seed. If you wish to plant it you can easily gather seeds, and then soak them overnight, plant the devil's claw seeds in a sunny location. Make sure you keep the seed bed moist until germination and then allow the soil to dry slightly between watering. Once the devil's claw plant is mature you can apply water only every 2 to 3 weeks. Suspend watering entirely when the devil's claw seed pod begin to form. The devil's claw plant is not susceptible to many pests or disease problems. If you choose to grow the devil's claw plant indoors you can use an unglazed pot with a mixture of topsoil and sand as your planting medium. Make sure you keep them in a sunny, warm room and then water only when the soil is completely dry.


Devil's Claw Herb Uses

Most native people have been using devil’s claw plant for baskets and as a food item for a very longtime. The young pods resemble okra and the devil’s claw plant care is indeed similar to okra cultivation. You can actually use the soft immature pods as a vegetable in stir-fries, stews, and as a cucumber substitute in pickles. The longer pods were hunted and then later cultivated for their use in baskets. The pods are buried to preserve the black color and then woven with bear grass or yucca leaves. Most native people were very creative at coming up with devil’s claw herb uses for fixing and mending, fresh and dried food options, for connecting things, and also as a toy for children.

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