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Peritoma lutea

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: PeritomaView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Common Name: BEE PLANT
Habit: Annual, shrub, glabrous to densely glandular-hairy. Stem: generally branched from upper nodes. Leaf: petiole 5--45 mm; leaflets 3--5. Inflorescence: raceme, terminal, generally 1--4 cm, generally 5--40 cm in fruit; pedicels 4--20 mm. Flower: often +- unisexual (stamens or pistils vestigial), +- bilateral, parts generally yellow; sepals free or fused, deciduous above base; petal claw 0 to short. Fruit: longer than wide; septum linear to oblong; receptacle stalk-like, reflexed to ascending. Seed: 10--40.
Species In Genus: 6 species. Etymology: (Greek: cutting all-around, from calyx)

Peritoma lutea (Hook.) Raf.
Habit: Annual, sparsely branched from upper nodes, (1.5)2.5--3 dm, +- glabrous. Leaf: leaflets generally 5, 1.5--6 cm, linear to elliptic. Flower: sepals fused in basal 1/2, 1.6--2.6 mm, lanceolate, minutely dentate, yellow, persistent; petals 5--8 mm, oblong to ovate, pale yellow; stamens 10--15 mm, yellow, anthers 1.9--2.6 mm. Fruit: 15--40 mm, 2--5 mm wide, +- linear, +- round in ×-section, striate; receptacle 5--17 mm. Chromosomes: 2n=34.
Ecology: Dry, sandy flats, desert scrub, weedy roadsides; Elevation: 1100--2400 m. Bioregional Distribution: SNE, DMtns; Distribution Outside California: to northern Washington, Nebraska, New Mexico, Baja California. Flowering Time: May--Aug
Synonyms: Cleome lutea Hook.; Cleome lutea var. lutea
eFlora Treatment Author: Robert E. Preston & Staria S. Vanderpool
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botanical illustration including Peritoma lutea


Citation for this treatment: Robert E. Preston & Staria S. Vanderpool 2017. Peritoma lutea, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on July 20, 2017.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2017. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on July 20, 2017.

Peritoma lutea
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© 2010 Steve Matson
Peritoma lutea
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© 2001 Larry Blakely
Peritoma lutea
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© 2015 Barry Breckling
Peritoma lutea
click for enlargement
© 2001 Larry Blakely
Peritoma lutea
click for enlargement
© 2001 Larry Blakely
Peritoma lutea
click for enlargement
© 2001 Larry Blakely

More photos of Peritoma lutea in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Peritoma lutea:
SNE, 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.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.