Polanisia dodecandra

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Polanisia dodecandra
Polanisiado decandra NPS-1.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Brassicales
Family: Cleomaceae
Genus: Polanisia
Species: P. dodecandra
Binomial name
Polanisia dodecandra
(L.) DC.[1]

Polanisia dodecandra is a species of flowering plant in the Cleome family, Cleomaceae, known by the common name redwhisker clammyweed,[2] or western clammyweed, although there are other Polanisia species called clammyweed. It is an annual plant that is found in many types of habitat throughout much of Canada and the United States. It can be found elsewhere as an introduced species.

The plant, which grows from 1ft to 3ft tall (30–90cm), is hairy and sticky, with a smell described as "strong and rank". The leaves, about 2in (5cm) long, are made up of three 1in (2.5cm) leaflets. The flowers are borne in a cluster of about 20 at the top of the stem. White with purple bases, the individual flowers are about 1in (2.5cm) long, with numerous longer, whiskery stamens, and are most apparent in late June and early July. The fruits, slender capsules 1–2in (2.5–5cm) long, are filled with many small dark seeds.[3]

The scientific name of the genus derives from the fact that the plant has numerous stamens of unequal lengths[4] (from Greek polys, "many", and anisos, "unequal"). The name of the species, dodecandra means "having 12 stamens".[3]

There are several subspecies of 'Polanisia dodecandra, including:

  • Polanisia dodecandra subsp. dodecandra - redwhisker clammyweed
  • P. dodecandra subsp. riograndensis - Rio Grande clammyweed (only found in Texas)
  • P. dodecandra subsp. trachysperma - sandyseed clammyweed.[5]


  1. ^ "Taxon: Polanisia dodecandra (L.) DC.". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. 2010-07-16. Retrieved 2011-02-01. 
  2. ^ "Polanisia dodecandra". Natural Resources Conservation Service PLANTS Database. USDA. Retrieved 9 October 2015. 
  3. ^ a b "Clammy-weed (Polanisia dodecandra)". Native Wildflowers of the North Dakota Grasslands. US Geological Survey: Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center. 2006-03-08. Retrieved 2012-06-08. 
  4. ^ A. Scott Earle, James L. Reveal (2003). "Lewis and Clark's green world: the expedition and its plants". Farcountry Press. 
  5. ^ "PLANTS Profile: Polanisia dodecandra (L.) DC. redwhisker clammyweed". US Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service. Retrieved 2012-06-08. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Polanisia dodecandra at Wikimedia Commons Data related to Polanisia dodecandra at Wikispecies