Cleome ornithopodioides auct. non Linn.
Annual herbs, 20-40 cm tall, erect, glandular; branches thin, slender, mostly from the base. Leaves 3-foliolate; lower petiolate, upper-most subsessile; leaflets narrowly linear-elliptic, 7-20 (-25) mm long, 1-4.5 mm broad, more or less glandu¬lar; petiole up to 1 cm long; leaflets usually longer than the petiole and apparently subfleshy; upper leaves conspicuously becoming 1-foliolate or apparently simple looking, uppermost acting as bracts. Racemes many flowered becoming lax and elongated while fruiting, bracteate, or ebracteate specially above. Flowers small, 3-4 mm across, white or pinkish, on thin spreading elongated filiform, 6-10 mm long pedicel. Sepals ovate, about 1-1.5 mm long, c. 0.5-0.7 mm broad, slightly connate at the base, acute. Petals about twice as long as the sepals, but not more than 1 mm broad, linear-oblong, not clearly separated into blade and claw. Stamens 6; filaments 2.5-6 mm long with apiculate anthers, often violet coloured. Capsules linear-oblong, 15-20 (-25) mm long, 1.5-2 mm wide, usually straight or slightly curved, hardly torulose, spreading or subdeflexed, including 0.5-3 mm long gyno¬phore and almost absent style; seeds 10-15, about 1 mm in diam., glabrous, granu¬late, brown.
Type: Afghanistan, Stainton 5072 (E, W).
Distribution: Afghanistan, W. Pakistan, Kashmir & Pamir, Alai.
Cleome ariana Hedge & Lamond has a superficial resemblance with Cleome ornitho¬podioides L. which has lanceolate-acuminate calyx lobes covered with stalked glan¬dular hairs, petals linear but with suborbicular limb, fruit torulose and leaflets thinner and tender. It is said that Cleome ornithopodioides is confined to S.E. Europe, Turkey and Cyprus. It is very closely related to Cleome khorassanica Bge, et Bien, which has obovate to broadly elliptic leaflets, and is known from Khorassan (Iran.) and adjacent Turkestan. It also resembles Cleome iberica DC. which has torulose, comparatively longer fruits with distinct style, and petals with distinct claw and orbicular limb. Cleome iberica replaces Cleome ornithopodioides in the middle eastern countries and Cleome ariana is confined to Afghanistan, W. Pakistan and Pamir-Alai region. However, these taxa belong to a common ancestral stock.