Vern. Hurhuria, Karalia.
Gynandropsis pentaphylla (L.) DC.
Herbs annual, erect or suberect, 10-50 (-90) cm tall, often glandular hairy. Leaves petiolate, 3-7-foliolate, very variable in size; leaflets obovate to elliptic, 1-5 (-6) cm long, 0.5-3 cm broad, usually acute or slightly acuminate, finely crenate to subentire; petiole (1-) 3-10 cm long. Inflorescence showy, up to 30 cm long, bracteate, bracts much smaller than the leaves. Flowers 1-2 cm across, mostly white or pinkish; pedicels generally 1-2 cm long. Sepals 4, ovate to lanceolate, 2-5 (-8) mm long, glandular. Petals 4, obovate and long clawed, 9-20 mm long, 4-10 mm broad. Androphore 15-25 mm long; stamens usually about 10, verti¬cellate, usually 10-15 mm long, subequal, spreading conspicuously from a long androphore (never like this in any Cleome species), filaments often pinkish or lilac. Gynophore 10-20 mm long, usually shorter in flowers but increasing in fruit. Style 1-2 mm long. Fruit capsular, (1.5-) 3-7 (-12) cm long, 0.2-0.5 (-0.8) cm broad, linear, narrowed towards both the ends, glandular-pubescent, finely and obliquely striated, many seeded. Seeds 1-1.8 mm in diam., finely longitudinally striated, with slightly cristate transverse ridges, dark-brown.
Type: From cultivated plant, Clifford (BM).
Distribution: Widely distributed in the tropical and subtropical regions of the world.
In Africa a form of this species, with very large capsules (upto 15 cm long, 1.2 cm broad), is cultivated as vegetable. The other species G. speciosa DC., of Central & South America with glabrous plants and larger fls. and leaves, may be found cultivated as an ornamental in our gardens.