Fringed Spider Flower
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Fringed Spider Flower
ative trifoliate Photo: Surajit Koley
Common name: Fringed Spider Flower • Bengali: নীল হুরহুরে Nil Hurhure • Marathi: निळी तिळवण Nili tilwan
Botanical name: Cleome rutidosperma    Family: Cleomaceae (Spider Flower family)
Synonyms: Sieruela rutidosperma, Cleome dodecandra, Cleome ciliata

Fringed Spider Flower is an erect, branched, annual herb, growing up to 15-100 cm tall, covered with soft recurved deciduous up to 2 mm long prickles. Leaves are 3-foliolate; lower ones long stalked, upper ones short stalked or stalkless; leaflets nearly stalkless, rhombate-elliptic or obovate, oblong-lanceshaped, narrowed or wedge-shaped and webbed at base, pointed or tapering at tip, obscurely crenulate-minutely toothed and purple along margins, 1-6 x 0.2-2 cm, hairless; lateral nerves 6-8 pairs, softly bristly; leaf-stalks at base up to 4 cm long, gradually diminishing upwards to nearly absent; leaflet-stalks up to 0.5 mm long. Racemes are lax, few-flowered, leafy, not clearly demarcated, up to 20 cm long. Flowers arise in axils of leaves below and leaf-like bracts above, showy pink, magenta, bluish-violet or rarely white with pink streaks; flower-stalks thread-like, 1-2 cm long, elongating to 3.5 cm in fruits, shortly glandular hairy. Sepals are linear-lanceshaped, tapering, 2.5-4 x 0.3-0.8 mm, thinly clothed with short bristles. Petals are inverted-lanceshaped to elliptic, narrowed-clawed at base, apiculate at tip, 8-12 x 1.5-2.5 mm; claw 2-3.5 mm long. Stamens are 6; filaments 6-9 mm long; anthers linear, about 2 mm long, recurved after anthesis. Gynophore 1.5-2 mm long, elongating to 8 mm in fruits; ovary linear, 7-12 mm long, slightly curved; stigma stalkless, capitate. Capsules linear-cylindric, compressed, narrowed at both ends, ribbed, 4-7 cm long, 2.5-4 mm thick; beak 1-4 mm long; valves parallel-veined, hairless. Flowering: May.

Identification credit: Surajit Koley Photographed in Hoogly, West Bengal.

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