Plant Listings

Cleome gynandra

Cleome gynandra L.

Common Names: Spider Flower, Shona Cabbage, African Cabbage, Spider Wisp, Cat’s Whiskers, Stink Weed, Chinsaga

Family: Cleomeaceae

Habit: Cleome gynandra grows as a herbaceous annual to 150 cm in height (usually shorter).  The leaves are arranged alternately, to 15 cm long, palmately 3-7 lobed, with each lobe with a serrate margin and an acute to rounded apex. 

The complete, perfect, zygomorphic flowers are arranged in racemes. Each flower subtended by a trifoliate bract. The calyx has 4 brown, unfused sepals. The corolla has 4 white, unfused, clawed petals. There are 6 unfused stamens that are inserted on an elongate carpel base. The ovary is superior with a 2 locules and numerous seeds.  The fruit is a capsule

Habitat: Cleome gynandra grows in Human Altered environments (yards, gardens, abandoned fields, nurseries).

Distribution: Cleome gynandra is NOT native to the Lucayan Archipelago.  It is native to Africa, the Indian subcontinent, Asia, and Australia.  It is now widespread as a weed in North, Central, and South America as well as the Caribbean region.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Cleome gynandra is not known to be used medicinally in the Lucayan Archipelago.