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Key to families | Table of families and genera

Specimen numbers are hyperlinked to records in the Consortium of California Herbaria data view where possible. Taxa are hyperlinked to entries in the Jepson Interchange via the "[Online Interchange]" link.



Robert E. Preston & Staria S. Vanderpool

Annual, perennial herb, shrub, often ill-smelling. Leaf: generally 1-palmate, generally alternate, generally petioled; stipules generally minute, often bristle-like or hairy; leaflets 0 or 3–7. Inflorescence: raceme, head, or flowers 1, expanded in fruit; bracts generally 3-parted below, simple above, or 0. Flower: generally bisexual, radial to ± bilateral; sepals generally 4, free or fused, generally persistent; petals generally 4, free, ± clawed; stamens generally 6, free, exserted, anthers generally coiling at dehiscence; ovary superior, generally on stalk-like receptacle, chamber generally 1, placentas generally 2, parietal, style 1, persistent, stigma generally minute, ± head-like. Fruit: 2 nutlets or generally capsule, septicidal; valves generally 2, deciduous, leaving septum (frame-like placentas) behind; pedicel generally ± reflexed to spreading.
17 genera, ± 150 species: widespread tropics to arid temperate. [Iltis & Cochrane 2007 Novon 17:447–451] Treated as Capparaceae in TJM (1993). —Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.
Unabridged references: [Ernst 1963 J Arnold Arbor 44:81–93]

Key to Cleomaceae

1. Shrub; fruit a capsule, inflated; petals 4–5 mm wide ..... Peritoma arborea

1' Annual, short-lived perennial herb; fruit a capsule, not or ± inflated, or 2 nutlets; petals < 4 mm wide

2. Flowers in axillary heads; style in fruit stout, spine-like; fruit 2 nutlets ..... OXYSTYLIS

2' Flowers in ± terminal racemes or 1 in leaf axils; style in fruit stout or not but not spine-like; fruit 2 nutlets or a capsule

3. Stamens 8–32; ovary ± sessile; fruit a capsule, valves persistent ..... POLANISIA

3' Stamens 6; ovary on stalk-like receptacle; fruit 2 nutlets or a capsule, valves deciduous

4. Fruit 2 nutlets, each 1(3)-seeded; septum 1 mm wide ..... WISLIZENIA

4' Fruit a capsule, 2–many-seeded; septum 1–25 mm wide

5. Fruit 2–6 mm, often wider than long; septum elliptic to round ..... CLEOMELLA

5' Fruit generally 12–55 mm, longer than wide; septum linear to oblong

6. Inflorescence open, few-flowered; receptacle in fruit 2–5 mm; anthers 3–6 mm ..... CARSONIA

6' Inflorescence dense, many-flowered; receptacle in fruit 5–18 mm; anthers 1.8–2.6 mm ..... PERITOMA


Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) [year] Jepson eFlora, [accessed on month, day, year]
Citation for an individual treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] [year]. [Taxon name] in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, [URL for treatment]. Accessed on [month, day, year].
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