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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 7 | Cleomaceae

7. Cleome Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 2: 671. 1753; Gen. Pl. ed. 5, 302. 1754.

Spiderflower [Origin obscure, perhaps from Greek kleos, glory, or after Kleo, Greek muse of history, first used by Priscian, fourteenth-century medical writer]

Gordon C. Tucker

Herbs, annual or perennial. Stems unbranched or sparsely branched ; glandular-pubescent, glabrous, glabrescent, or scabrous. Leaves: stipules absent or scalelike; petiole with pulvinus basally or distally, (petiolule basally adnate, forming pulvinar disc); leaflets 1 or 3[-11] (flat). Inflorescences terminal or axillary (from distal leaves), racemes (flat-topped or elongated); bracts present [absent]. Flowers zygomorphic; sepals persistent, basally connate (1/2 of length), equal (each often subtending a nectary); petals equal; stamens [4] 6; filaments inserted on a discoid or conical androgynophore, glabrous; anthers (oblong to linear), coiling as pollen is released; gynophore recurved in fruit [obsolete]. Fruits capsules, dehiscent, oblong. Seeds 4-25, reniform or ovoid-spheroidal, arillate or not, (cleft fused between ends). x = 10 (?).

Species ca. 20 (2 in the flora): introduced; Old World; warm temperate and tropical areas.

1 Capsules 25-35 mm; bracts mostly unifoliate; leaflet blade linear to elliptic.   1 Cleome ornithopodioides
+ Capsules 40-70 mm; bracts trifoliate; leaflet blade oblanceolate to rhombic-elliptic.   2 Cleome rutidosperma

Lower Taxa


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