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Cleomella brevipes

Higher Taxonomy
Family: CleomaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: 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.
Genera In Family: 17 genera, +- 150 species: widespread tropics to arid temperate. Note: Treated as Capparaceae in TJM (1993).
eFlora Treatment Author: Robert E. Preston & Staria S. Vanderpool
Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: CleomellaView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: 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.
Species In Genus: +- 10 species: arid western North America. Etymology: (Diminutive of Cleome)
Reference: Holmgren 2004 Brittonia 56:103--106

Cleomella brevipes S. Watson
Habit: Plant glaucous. Stem: 5--45 cm, rough. Leaf: petiole 0.5--3 mm; leaflets 5--15 mm, linear to obovate, fleshy. Inflorescence: flowers 1 in leaf axils, including those near base; pedicels 1.5--3 mm. Flower: sepals 0.8--1.2 mm, ovate, acuminate; petals 1.5--2 mm, pale yellow; stamens 1.5--2.2 mm, anthers 0.3--0.5 mm; style 0.1--0.3 mm. Fruit: 2--3 mm, 2--3.2 mm wide, round; valves +- conic; receptacle 0.5--3 mm, reflexed.
Ecology: Alkaline marshes, wet, salt-encrusted soil around thermal springs; Elevation: 400--2100 m. Bioregional Distribution: SNE (exc W&I), DMoj (exc DMtns); Distribution Outside California: western Nevada. Flowering Time: May--Oct
Jepson eFlora Author: Robert E. Preston & Staria S. Vanderpool
Reference: Holmgren 2004 Brittonia 56:103--106
Jepson Online Interchange
Listed on CNPS Rare Plant Inventory

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Citation for this treatment: Robert E. Preston & Staria S. Vanderpool 2012, Cleomella brevipes, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on November 12, 2018.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2018, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on November 12, 2018.

Cleomella brevipes
click for enlargement
© 2011 Steve Matson
Cleomella brevipes
click for enlargement
© 2011 Steve Matson
Cleomella brevipes
click for enlargement
© 2011 Steve Matson
Cleomella brevipes
click for enlargement
© 2011 Steve Matson
Cleomella brevipes
click for enlargement
© 2008 Steve Matson
Cleomella brevipes
click for enlargement
© 2007 Steve Matson

More photos of Cleomella brevipes in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Cleomella brevipes:
SNE (exc W&I), DMoj (exc DMtns);
Markers link to CCH specimen records. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues. Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
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).

View elevation by latitude chart
Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
View all CCH records

CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.