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Published In: Species Plantarum 2: 671–672. 1753. (1 May 1753) (Sp. Pl.) Name publication detailView in BotanicusView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 6/2/2011)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project Data     (Last Modified On 6/3/2011)
Contributor Text: S.M.H. Jafri
General/Distribution: A large genus with about 200 species in the tropical and subtropical regions of the world. Of these, only 10 spp. are reported for W. Pakistan.
Comment/Acknowledgements: Intensive collection in Baluchistan may reveal the occurrence of a few more species than are presently known from this area. It may also help in solving the taxonomic problems of certain other species.

C. spinosa Jacq. is recorded for the first time from cultivated ornamental plants from the area, and a new subspecies, pakistanica Jafri is described under C. heratensis Bunge.


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Herbs or undershrubs, sometimes bushy and woody below, generally glandular-hairy. Leaves alternate, petiolate, simple or palmately 3-5 (-9) foliolate. Inflorescence racemose, bracteate or ebracteate. Flowers mostly small or mediocre, usually pedicellate, yellow, white or pinkish. Sepals 4, free or shortly united at the base, deciduous or persistent, often subspreading and equal. Petals 4, equal or subequal, often clawed, imbricate. Androphore absent, or inconspicuous. Stamens free, generally 4-12, subequal, sometimes a few sterile (staminodes). Gynophore present or absent; ovary 1-locular, with many ovules on 2 parietal placentas; style present or absent. Capsule usually elongated with two dehiscing valves and persistent replum (rarely subdehiscent) ; seeds many, reniform or discoid, glabrous or asperous, smooth, rugulose or ridged.

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1 Leaves digitately 3-7-foliolate (2)
+ Leaves simple (6)
2 (1) Leaflets of lower leaves large, usually more than 5 cm long; flowers large, more than 1 cm across (3)
+ Leaflets small, usually less than 4 cm long; flowers small, less than 1 cm across (4)
3 (2) Gynophore absent; leaves without spiny stipules Cleome viscosa
+ Gynophore very elongated, 3 cm or more long; lower leaves with a pair of minute spiny stipules Cleome spinosa
4 (2) Fruits more or less linear, 15-50 mm long, 1.5-2 mm broad, glabrous or minutely glandular; annual (rarely perennial) (5)
+ Fruits oblong, 8-12 mm long, 3-5 mm broad, densely glandular; perennial Cleome brachycarpa
5 (4) Fruit 15-20 mm long, 2 mm broad; leaflets linear or narrowly linear-elliptic Cleome ariana
+ Fruit 30-40 mm long, 1.5 mm wide; leaflets more or less orbicular, ovate or broadly elliptic Cleome heratensis
6 (1) Fruits covered with short stalked glands, linear-Cylindrical; petals appendiculate at the junction of limb and claw (7)
+ Fruits glabrous, sparsely papillose (rarely pubescent), linear or oblong-compressed; petals not appendiculate (8)
7 (6) Style 1-5 mm long; leaf margin and blade without stout glands Cleome fimbriata
+ Style 8-12 mm long; leaf margin and blade ciliate with Stout, stalked glands Cleome dolichostyla
8 (6) Flowers about 8 mm across, subirregular; fruits Oblong or linear, 3-8 (-10) mm broad, pendulous (9)
+ Flowers about 5 mm across, regular; fruits linear, Spreading, about 1 mm broad Cleome scaposa
9 (8) Plants glabrous and glaucous (pedicel and infl. Sparsely glandular); petal limb lanceolate-elongated; Fruits glabrous, 50-80 mm long and 3-5 mm broad, tapering and somewhat cuspidate at the apex Cleome oxypetala
+ Plants glandular-pubescent all over; petal limb almost orbicular or broadly ovate; fruits sparsely glandular (rarely glabrous or so), 20-40 mm long, 4-8 (-10) mm broad, abruptly ending into a style (not tapering) at the apex Cleome rupicola
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