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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

Annual, sticky, glandular-hairy. Leaf: leaflets 3–5, oblanceolate to ovate. Inflorescence: raceme, terminal, dense. Flower: bilateral; sepals ± free, deciduous; petals generally unequal, obovate, clawed, notched at tip; stamens 8–32, unequal, anthers not coiling; ovary ± sessile, subtended on 1 side by a prominent nectary. Fruit: dehiscent in upper 1/2; valves persistent; receptacle not stalk-like. Seed: many.
5 species: North America. (Greek: many, unequal, from stamens) [Inda et al. 2008 Plant Syst Evol 274:111–126] Taxonomic position problematic.

P. dodecandra (L.) DC. subsp. trachysperma (Torr. & A. Gray) H.H. Iltis WESTERN CLAMMYWEED
Leaf: many; petiole 1.5–4.5 cm; leaflets 1.6–4.5 cm. Inflorescence: appearing after leaves, 5–30 cm; pedicels 1–2.5 cm, green to purple. Flower: sepals 4–7 mm, purple; petals 6–13 mm, white, claw 4–5 mm; stamens 10–20, 5–40 mm, filaments purple, anthers 1–1.3 mm; nectary bright orange, spheric, concave at top, 2–2.3 mm; style 5–17 mm, deciduous, stigma purple. Fruit: 4–7 cm, 5–9 mm wide, green.
2n=20. Gravel bars, roadsides, disturbed areas; 30–1680 m. Inner North Coast Ranges, Cascade Range, n&c Sierra Nevada Foothills, Sacramento Valley, Modoc Plateau; to eastern Canada, southeastern United States. [Polanisia trachysperma Torr. & A. Gray] Jun–Sep [Online Interchange]
Unabridged note: Reports of Polanisia dodecandra subsp. dodecandra from California evidently in error.

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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 30 2015
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Polanisia, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 30 2015

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click for enlargement Polanisia dodecandra subsp. trachysperma
See CalPhotos for additional images
1997 Arthur H. Bazell, M.D.

Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Polanisia dodecandra subsp. trachysperma Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.