Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Vascular Plants of California
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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, distal simple, 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: 13 genera, +- 150 species: widespread tropics to arid temperate. Note: Treated as Capparaceae in TJM (1993); species of Carsonia, Oxystylis, Peritoma, and Wislizenia moved to Cleomella (Roalson et al. 2015).
eFlora Treatment Author: Robert E. Preston & Staria S. Vanderpool
Scientific Editor: Bruce G. Baldwin & Thomas J. Rosatti
Habit: Annual, short-lived perennial herb, or shrub, generally glabrous. Stem: generally ascending to erect, sometimes prostrate when older, generally branched from base, often red-tinged. Leaf: generally many; petiole generally 0--70 mm; leaflets (1)3(5). Inflorescence: generally raceme, +- terminal, flowers 1 in leaf axils, or both (axillary heads in C. oxystylis); pedicel generally 4--25 mm. Flower: parts generally yellow; sepals free or fused in basal 1/2, generally entire; petals +- sessile, upper 2 often recurved. Fruit: capsule or 2 nutlets, 1.5--6 mm, often wider than long; valves deciduous, septum linear to round; receptacle stalk-like. Seed: 2--40 per capsule, often < 10, or 1(3) per nutlet.
Species In Genus: +- 19 species: arid western North America. Etymology: (Diminutive of Cleome)
Jepson eFlora Author: Robert E. Preston & Staria S. Vanderpool
Reference: Holmgren 2004 Brittonia 56:103--106; Roalson et al. 2015 Phytotaxa 205:129--144
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)
Key to Cleomella

Previous taxon: Cleomaceae
Next taxon: Cleomella arborea

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Citation for this treatment: Robert E. Preston & Staria S. Vanderpool 2023, Cleomella, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, Revision 12,, accessed on July 17, 2024.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2024, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on July 17, 2024.