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Genus Cleome Family Capparaceae

Description: Annual or perennial herbs, glandular-pubescent, glabrous.

Leaves mostly palmately compound with 3–7 leaflets, rarely simple.

Inflorescence mostly terminal, a dense raceme; lower bracts leaf-like, reduced above. Sepals free. Petals with or without claws. Stamens 1–30, sometimes fused at base and united to gynophore. Gland present on receptacle, variable in shape. Gynophore usually present; ovary 1-locular.

Capsule opening by 2 valves, leaving the persistent frame-like replum.


Photo © ANBG

Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 150 species, tropical & subtropical regions. Australia: 10 species (6 species endemic), all mainland States except Vic.

Text by G. J. Harden
Taxon concept:

 Key to the species 
1Leaves palmately compound with 3–7 leaflets2
Leaves simpleCleome monophylla
2Stipules absent; capsule glandular-pubescentCleome viscosa
Stipules spinescent; capsule glabrous
                       Back to 1
Cleome hassleriana

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