This section is from the book "Handbook Of Hardy Trees, Shrubs, And Herbaceous Plants", by W. Botting Hemsley. Also available from Amazon: Handbook of hardy trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants.
This is a very large genus of the warmer and tropical regions, containing some shrubby and many annual species of some beauty, a few of which are cultivated. The distinctive characters of the genus are : sepals and petals 4, stamens 6, and a 1-celled capsular fruit with many seeds. Leaves simple, or digitately 3- to 7-foliolate. Flowers solitary or racemose,
Showy, white, yellow, or purple. The etymology of the word is obscure.
1. G. spinosa (fig. 40). - This is a hand-some shrub from South America, remarkable for the length and persistence of its stamens. Petals rosy pink, all directed upwards. A tender species.
2. C. rosea. - A beautiful annual about 18 inches high. Leaves glabrous, petiolate, 3-to 5-foliolate, with the uppermost simple; leaflets lanceolate. Flowers bright rose, in terminal bracteate racemes. South America.
3. G. speciosissima. - Near the last, but with 5- to 7-foliolate hairy leaves and larger violet-red flowers. Mexico.
Fig. 40. Cleome spinosa. (1/4 nat. size.)