This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
(meaning uncertain). Capparidaceae. Odd spider-flowered plants sometimes grown in the flower-garden.
Sub-shrubs or annual herbs, simple or branched, glabrous or glandular, with simple leaves or 3-7 leaflets, and white, green, yellow or purplish flowers borne singly or in racemes; petals entire, with claws. - Seventy tropical species, in both hemispheres. The genus is distinguished from Gynan-dropsis by its short torus, which often bears an appendage, and by the 4-6, rarely 10, stamens.
The garden cleomes are chiefly interesting for their long purple spidery stamens and showy rose-colored petals. They succeed in sandy soils and sunny situations, and can be used like castor-oil plants to fill up large gaps in a border. C. spinosa is the best, and has lately been planted considerably in public parks amongst shrubbery. Propagated by seeds, which are produced freely in long slender pods borne on long stalks.
a. leaflets more than 3.
Jacq. (C. pungens, Willd. C. gigantea, Hort., not Linn.). Giant Spider Plant. Figs. 993, 994. Clammy, strong-scented, 3-4 ft. high: leaflets usually 5, sometimes 7, oblong-lanceolate, with a pair of short stipular spines under the petioles of most of the leaves, and in the tropics some little prickles on the petioles also: flowers rose-purple, varying to white; petals 4, obovate, clawed, 1/2in. long; stamens 2-3 in. long, blue or purple. N. C. to La. (naturalized from tropical Amer.) and escaped from gardens. B.M. 1640. G.C. III. 45: 115. - A tender biennial north, but annual in the tropics. The plant recently introduced as C. gigantea is not the true species, which is a green-flowered S. American plant as yet apparently unknown in the trade in this country. C. spinosa differs widely in the extent and character of its spines. The flowers vary in the development of the style; Fig. 994 shows a fully perfected style.
Fig. 993. Cleome spinosa.
Deppe. Annual or half-shrubby, sometimes 5 ft. high: stems strongly hairy without spines; leaflets 5-7, lanceolate, dentate, narrowed at the base, conspicuously hairy on both sides: flowers light purple or purplish rose. July to fall. Mex. B.R. 1312. - Said to be the showiest of cleomes. Under this name a very (liferent plant is passing, the leaflets of which have only minute hairs but rather numerous spines.
aa. leaflets 3.
Pursh (C integrifolia, Torr. & Gray). Rocky Mountain Bee-Plant. Glabrous, 2-3 or even 6 ft. high: leaflets 3, lanceolate to obovate-oblong, entire, or rarely with a few minute teeth: bracts much narrower than in C. spinosa: petals rose, rarely white, 3-toothed; receptacle with a flat, conspicuous appendage. Along streams in saline soils of prairies. - In cult, over 30 years as a bee-plant.
C. dendroidea, Schult. Tree-like, 10-14 ft.: flowers blackish purple. Brazil. B.M. 3296. - C. gigantea, Linn. Shrubby, 3-5 ft., downy: leaflets 7, lanceolate, lance-oblong or oblanceolate, the entire If. shorter than petiole: flowers greenish; petals linear, 2 in. or more long, cohering by their margins and opening only on one side; sepals long-linear, glandular, becoming revolute. tropical Amer. B.M. 3137. - C. speciosa, HBK=Gynandropsis. N- Taylor†