Cleome serrulata

Cleome serrulata

Cleome serrulata (Rocky Mountain Beeweed, Rocky Mountain Beeplant, Bee Spiderflower, stinking clover, Navajo spinach) is a species of Cleome, native to western North America from southern British Columbia, east to Minnesota and Illinois, and south to New Mexico and northernmost California. It is also naturalized further east in North America.

It is an annual plant growing to 10-150 cm tall, with spirally arranged leaves. The leaves are trifoliate, with three slender leaflets each 1-7 cm long. The flowers are reddish-purple, pink, or white, with four petals and six long stamens. The fruit is a capsule 3-6 cm long containing several seeds.

It is used in the southwestern U.S. as a food, medicine, or dye. It is called waa’ in the Navajo language. Its scientific description was based on specimens collected on the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

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