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Genus :

CLEOME

Family :

CAPPARACEAE

Description


Annual or perennial herbs. Stipules absent or with short spine-like thorn. Leaves alternate, long petiolate, palmately compound, leaflets 3-9, sessile. Flowers bisexual, white, yellow, pink or purple in terminal bracteate racemes, actinomorphic or zygomorphic by displacement of petals. Sepals 4, free. Petals 4, clawed base, hypogynous. Stamens 4 to numerous, borne on a androgynophore, filaments equal or subequal. Ovary 1-celled, sessile or on a short gynophore which elongates in fruits, ovules  many, stigma knob-shaped, flattish, discoid or capitate, subsessile. Fruit capsule or siliqua, terete, striate, 2-valved, beaked, dehiscing from base with a persistent replum. Seeds numerous, glabrous or pubescent, orbicular to reniform, scalariform with conspicuous.

Key to the species

Serial Key Reference
1a. Androgynophore present 2
1b. Androgynophore absent 3
2a. Gynophore 1-2 cm long C. gynandra
2b. Gynophore 3-7 cm long C. houtteana
3a. Flower white, gynophore 2 mm long C. diffusa
3b. Flower yellow, pink or purple, gynophore present or absent 4
4a. Flower yellow, stamens 10-24; gynophore absent C. viscosa
4b. Flower pink or purplish; stamens 6; gynophore 1.5-8.0 mm long C. rutidosperma