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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
Annual, generally glabrous. Stem: generally ascending to erect, sometimes prostrate when older, generally branched from base, often red-tinged. Leaf: generally many; petiole generally 7–20 mm; leaflets generally 3. Inflorescence: raceme, ± terminal, flowers 1 in leaf axils, or both; pedicel generally 4–25 mm. Flower: parts generally yellow; sepals fused in basal 1/3, generally entire; petals ± sessile, upper 2 often recurved. Fruit: 2–6 mm, often wider than long; septum elliptic to round; receptacle stalk-like. Seed: < 10.Key to Cleomella
± 10 species: arid western North America. (Diminutive of Cleome) [Holmgren 2004 Brittonia 56:103–106]
Stem: branched generally from upper nodes, 10–55(80) cm, smooth. Leaf: leaflets 15–45 mm, linear-elliptic. Inflorescence: raceme, 1–20 cm. Flower: sepals 0.9–2.2 mm, lanceolate; petals 3.5–7 mm; stamens 8–12 mm, anthers 1.5–1.9 mm; style 0.8–1.2 mm. Fruit: 4–5 mm; valves ± hemispheric to horn-shaped; receptacle 6–10 mm, spreading to ascending.
Wet, alkaline meadows, greasewood flats, near thermal springs; 875–1710 m. ne San Bernardino Mountains, Great Basin Floristic Province (except Warner Mountains, White and Inyo Mountains), Mojave Desert (except Desert Mountains); to Oregon, Idaho, Utah. May–Oct [Online Interchange]
Unabridged synonyms: [Cleomella plocasperma var. mojavensis (Payson) Crum ex Jeps.; Cleomella plocasperma var. stricta Crum ex Jeps.]
Previous taxon: Cleomella parviflora
Next taxon: Oxystylis
Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/IJM.html, accessed on Mar 12 2014
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2012. Cleomella, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_IJM.pl?tid=19759, accessed on Mar 12 2014
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