Cleome hotsonii Blatt. & Hallb.
Perennial herb with woody base, up to 50 cm tall, mostly branched from the base, erect or suberect, more or less glabrous and glaucous, sometimes glandular above. Leaves simple, elliptic, petiolate, entire, somewhat fleshy, 10-25 mm long, 4-10 mm broad, glabrous. Flowers about 1 cm across, yellow-brownish, pedicel¬late, generally ebracteate on a very lax, 6-10-fld. raceme which hardly increases in length in fruit, usually with mature fruits below and a few opened flowers near the apex; pedicel about 1 cm long, horizontally spreading, often densely glandular in flower. Sepals about 1.5 mm long, subtriangular, sparsely glandular outside. Petals much longer than the sepals, 6-8 mm long, 1-1.5 mm broad, lanceolate, elongated with tapering limb, acute or acuminate, shortly clawed, yellow brown. Stamens 6, about as long as the petals. Fruit 50-80 mm long, 3-5 mm broad, linear, pendulous, shortly stipitate, somewhat compressed, glabrous, narrowed into a cusp-like apex with 1-1.5 (-2) mm long style; seeds 1.5-2 mm in diam., papillose when immature but lanate when mature.
Type: Iran (South), Dalaki, Kotschy 142 (K, W).
Distribution: Iran, Afghanistan, Arabia and West Pakistan.
Cleome oxypetala Boiss. is closely related to Cleome glaucescens DC. (Cleome glauca DC., Cleome kotschyana Boiss.) which has many flowered densely glandular racemes, slightly broader (2-3 mm) elliptic or ovate petals and broader fruits (5-10 mm broad). Separation of taxa on glabrous or pubescent seeds, or on fruit breadth, as done by Boissier or Batter and Hallberg, is useless in this group.
The whereabouts of Hotson’s collection remains a mystery. Some of it must be at the Herbarium of St. Xavier’s College, Bombay (India) (BLAT). It is said that whatever is there is in a very dilapidated condition. Width of fruit of Cleome hotsonii is given as 2.5 mm, which is perhaps of immature fruit. From the same locality i.e. near Mand, S. I. Ali, S. A. Faruqi & Sultanul Abedin 1033, tallies with Blatter’s description of Cleome hotsonii, but has fruits 3-5 mm broad and is Cleome oxypetala