Peritoma arborea

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Cleome isomeris
Isomeris arborea 3.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Brassicales
Family: Cleomaceae
Genus: Cleome
Species: C. isomeris
Binomial name
Cleome isomeris

Isomeris arborea Nutt.

Peritoma arborea (formerly Isomeris arborea,[1] syn. Cleome isomeris), is a perennial shrub or bush in the Spiderflower Family (Cleomaceae) known by the common names bladderpod, burrofat,[citation needed] and California cleome[citation needed].[2] It has yellow flowers in bloom all months of the year.[2] It has a foul smelling odor from chemicals it produces to discourage insects from eating it.[2]

Range and habitat[edit]

It is commonly found along roadsides, desert dry washes, and flat areas up to 4,000', in the western Mojave Desert and Colorado Desert to Baja California, Mexico.[2] It is native to California and Baja California where it grows in a variety of habitats from coastal bluffs[citation needed] to desert arroyos.

Growth pattern[edit]

It is a densely branching shrub reaching 2'-5; in height.[2]

Leaves and stems[edit]

Its leaves are made up of three equal leaflets 1/2" to 2" (1-4 cm) long, oval to elliptic in shape and pointed at the tip.[2]

Flowers and fruit[edit]

The plant produces abundant inflorescences at the ends of the stem branches all year.[2] Each flowers has four bright yellow petals, four yellow sepals, six[citation needed] whiskery protruding stamens with curling tips holding the anthers.[citation needed]

At the middle is a long, protruding style which holds the developing fruit at its tip.[citation needed]

A typical inflorescence bears a number of unopened flower buds at its tip, open flowers proximal to the buds, and maturing fruits which have shed their flowers below these.[citation needed]

The fruit is an inflated leathery capsule about 4 centimeters long and usually oval in shape.[2] It is smooth and green when new, aging to light brown.[citation needed]

In the previous genus name, "Iso" means "equal", and "meris" means "part", referring to how the pod is divided equally.[3]

Cleome isomeris, Joshua Tree National Park, March 2005. This plant was five or six feet high and loaded with flowers from top to bottom.


  1. ^ Mojave Desert Wildflowers, Pam MacKay, 2nd Ed. 2013, P. 314
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Mojave Desert Wildflowers, Pam MacKay, 2nd Ed. 2013, p. 230
  3. ^ Flowering Plants of the Santa Monica Mountains, Nancy Dale, 2nd Ed., 2000, p. 89

External links[edit]