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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 7 | Cleomaceae

9. Tarenaya Rafinesque, Sylva Tellur. 111. 1838.

Spiderflower [Origin obscure]

Gordon C. Tucker, Hugh H. Iltis

Cleome Linnaeus sect. Tarenaya (Rafinesque) H. H. Iltis

Herbs [shrubs], annual. Stems sparsely to profusely branched; glabrous or glandular-pubescent (sometimes spiny). Leaves: stipular spines present [absent]; petiole with pulvinus basally or distally, (petiolule base adnate, forming pulvinar disc; spines present); leaflets [1 or](3) 5 or 7[-11] (with tiny prickles terminating teeth). Inflorescences terminal or axillary (from distal leaves), racemes (flat-topped or elongated); bracts present [absent]. Flowers (often appearing unisexual due to incomplete development), zygomorphic; sepals persistent, distinct, equal (each often subtending a nectary); petals equal; stamens 6; filaments inserted on a discoid or conical androgynophore, glabrous; anthers (linear), coiling as pollen is released; gynophore recurved in fruit. Fruits capsules, dehiscent, oblong. Seeds 10-30+, triangular to subglobose, not arillate, (cleft fused between ends). x = 10.

Species 33 (2 in the flora): introduced; South America; introduced worldwide in tropical and warm-temperate regions.

1 Sepals, ovary, and capsules glabrous; petals usually pink or purple, sometimes white.   1 Tarenaya hassleriana
+ Sepals, ovary, and capsules ± glandular-pubescent; petals white or greenish white.   2 Tarenaya spinosa

Lower Taxa


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