Synonyms : Peritoma aurea. P. luteum.
Cleome lutea is a sprawling plant often exceeding a meter in height. The erect stem has widely spaced leaves all the way along, each leaf made up of three to five small leaflets. Atop the stem is a showy inflorescence of many bright yellow flowers. Each flower has oblong petals around a cluster of long stamens tipped with knobby anthers. As the inflorescence lengthens at the top of the stem, flowers that have opened and been pollinated drop their petals and the ovary develops into a fruit. The fruits are capsules several centimeters long containing many seeds. A flowering plant may have blooming flowers at the top of the stem and ripening capsules dangling off the stem further down.
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It is frost tender. It is in flower from Jul to August. 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.
Edible Uses: Young shoots – cooked. Seed – ground into a meal and used as a flour.
Medicinal Uses: The plant has been used to treat ant bites.
Other Uses: Yields a black dye. No further details are given, but it is probably obtained by boiling down the whole plant
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.