Today’s image is again courtesy of our “BPotD correspondent in Mexico”, David Tarrant.
This plant was growing along the roadside in the freshly disturbed earth near a building site, a typical locale for this plant of weedy areas, cattle pens and other degraded sites in Texas and Mexico. In Mexico, the common name is toritos or “little bulls”, while in Texas it is variously known as unicorn plant, common devil’s claw, ram’s horn, cow-catcher or mule-grab. Some common names refer to the paired upright bractlets that subtend the flower, while others refer to the fruit (a series of images including dried fruit and flowers can be seen here, but the site is only working intermittently this morning).
The Plants For a Future database provides references on the human uses of the fruits, including food (when immature), ornamentation, and sewing withes (for the latter, also see the section on “Coiled Baskets for Household Use” in By the Prophet of the Earth: Ethnobotany of the Pima).