SANBI IDentifyIt - Species

Print Fact SheetHarpagophytum zeyheri (Devil's Claw)



NEMBA Status


CITES Listing

Not listed

Common names

Devil's Claw; Grapple Plant; Wood Spider; Teufelskralle; Kamangu

Geographic location / distribution / province

Widespread in southern Africa, from Namibia and Zambia south to Botswana and Zimbabwe

Distinguishing characteristics

Perennial herb with prostrate annual stems growing from a succulent taproot, forming a thick tuber. Leaves broadly ovate; margins crenate to deeply lobed. Flowers solitary in leaf axils, pink or purple, yellow in the throat. Fruit a woody capsule with 4 rows of curved arms, each bearing recurved spines.

Similar species

This species is similar to H. procumbens but is easily distinguished when in fruit. The fruits of H. procumbens have very long, curved arms, while those of H. zeyheri are much less extravagant.


Other species in the same family

Harpagophytum procumbens (Devil's Claw)

Flowering months

December to February