H. H. Iltis

Novon 17: 447. 2007.

Etymology: Genus Cleome and serrata, serrate, alluding to leaflet margins
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 7. Treatment on page 216. Mentioned on page 200, 215, 217.

Herbs, annual [perennial]. Stems unbranched or sparsely [profusely] branched; glabrous or glandular-pubescent. Leaves: stipules absent; petiole with pulvinus basally or distally, (petiolule base adnate, forming pulvinar disc); leaflets 3 or 5–9. Inflorescences terminal or axillary (from distal leaves), racemes (flat-topped or elongated); bracts present. Flowers (often appearing unisexual due to incomplete development), zygomorphic; sepals persistent or deciduous, distinct, equal (each often subtending a nectary); petals equal; stamens 6; filaments inserted on a discoid or conical androgynophore, usually glabrous; anthers coiling as pollen is released; gynophore recurved in fruit. Fruits capsules, dehiscent, oblong. Seeds 10–30+, subglobose [reniform], not arillate, (cleft fused between ends). x = 12.


Introduced; Mexico, West Indies, Central America, South America.


segregation of cleoserrata from tarenaya is based on the absence of prickles on the minutely serrulate leaf, the x = 12 chromosomal complement, and molecular evidence suggesting a more basal clade than that of tarenaya (l. a. inda et al. 2008).

Species 5 (2 in the flora).

Selected References



1 Petals usually brilliant pink to purple, fading to pink or white, rarely initially white; bracts ovate-cordate, 3-18 mm; gynophore 30-85 mm in fruit. Cleoserrata speciosa
1 Petals white or whitish, with pinkish or red distally; bracts subulate, to 1 mm; gynophore 1(-2) mm in fruit. Cleoserrata serrata