Botanical Name : Cleome viscosa
Species: C. viscosa
Synonyms: Polanisia viscosa
Habitat :Cleome viscosa is native to Pantropical. It grows on sandy and freely draining soils in open woodland scrub and on scree slopes in dry areas.
Asian spider flower is a usually tall annual herb, up to a meter high, more or less hairy with glandular and eglandular hairs.It is commonly found in rainy seasons. Leaves are digitately compound, with 3-5 leaflets. Leaflets are obovate, elliptic-oblong, very variable in size, often 2-4 cm long, 1.5-2.5 cm broad, middle one largest; petiole up to 5 cm long. Racemes elongated, up to 30 cm long, with corym¬bose flowers at the top and elongated mature fruits below, bracteate. Flowers 10-15 mm across, whitish or yellowish; pedicels 6-20 mm long; bracts foliaceous. Sepals oblong-lanceolate, 3-4 mm long, 1-2 mm wide, glandular-pubescent. Petals 8-15 mm long, 2-4 mm broad, oblong-obovate. Stamens 10-12 (rarely more, up to 20), not exceeding the petals; gynophore absent. Fruit 30-75 mm long, 3-5 mm broad, linear-oblong, erect, obliquely striated, tapering at both ends, glandular-pubescent, slender; style 2-5 mm long; seeds many, 1-1.4 mm in diam., glabrous with longitudinal striations and transverse ridges, dark brown.
It is frost tender. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.
Prefers a light fertile soil in a warm dry sunny position with plenty of room to spread. A frost tender plant, it can be grown as a summer annual in Britain.
Seed – surface sow or only lightly cover the seed in spring in a greenhouse. The seed usually germinates in 5 – 14 days at 25°c. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in late spring. Day time temperatures below 20°c depress germination but a night time fall to 20° is necessary
Leaves and young shoots – cooked as a vegetable. A sharp mustard-like flavour. The pungent seed can be pickled or used as a mustard substitute in curries. The seedpods are made into pickles. The juice of the plant is used as a condiment. An oil obtained from the seeds is used for cooking.
Medicinal uses: The leaves are diaphoretic, rubefacient and vesicant. They are used as an external application to wounds and ulcers. The juice of the leaves has been used to relieve earache. The seeds are anthelmintic, carminative, rubefacient and vesicant. The seed contains 0.1% viscosic acid and 0.04% viscosin. The crushed leaves have been investigated as a treatment on stored seeds of cowpea, to prevent weevil infestation.The leaves are use as external application to wounds and ulcers. The seed are anrhelmintic and carminative
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.