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Jepson Interchange (more information)
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Staria S. Vanderpool

Annual, shrub, tree, ill-smelling
Leaves generally 1-palmate, generally alternate, generally petioled; stipules generally minute, often bristle-like or hairy; leaflets 3–7
Inflorescence: raceme, head, or flowers solitary, generally longer 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: generally capsule, septicidal; valves generally 2, deciduous, leaving septum (frame-like placentas) behind; pedicel generally ± reflexed to spreading
Genera in family: 45 genera, 800 species: widespread tropical to arid temp; some cultivated (Capparis spinosa , caper bush)
Reference: [Ernst 1963 J Arnold Arbor 44:81–93]
CA members placed in subfamily Cleomoideae. Alternate family name: Capparidaceae.


Species in genus: 1 sp
Etymology: (Greek: equal part)


I. arborea Nutt.


Shrub, profusely branched, generally 5–20 dm, minutely hairy
Leaf: petiole 1–3 cm; leaflets generally 3, 15–45 mm, oblong-elliptic
Inflorescence: raceme, 1–30 cm, terminal; pedicels 8–15 mm, thicker in fruit
Flower: sepals fused in basal half, 4–7 mm, ± entire, green; petals 8–14 mm, 4–5 mm wide, sessile, yellow; stamens 15–25 mm, yellow, anthers 2–2.5 mm; style 0.9–1.2 mm or pistil aborting in bud
Fruit: capsule, tardily dehiscent, 3–4 cm, inflated, oblong to ± spheric, smooth, leathery, light brown; valves 2–3; receptacle stalk-like, 1–2 cm, stout, reflexed
Chromosomes: 2n=34,40
Ecology: Common. Coastal bluffs, hills, desert washes, flats
Elevation: 0–1300 m.
Bioregional distribution: s Sierra Nevada Foothills, Tehachapi Mountain Area, San Joaquin Valley, Central Coast, South Coast, Channel Islands, Desert
Distribution outside California: to Baja California
Flowering time: Most of year
Synonyms: Cleome isomeris Greene
Varieties angustata Parish, globosa Coville , insularis Jeps. have been recognized based on fruit variation that may be loosely correlated with geography
Horticultural information: DRN, SUN, DRY: 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24; IRR: 12, 13; STBL.

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