Capparaceae Cleome lutea

Multiple yellow flowers with four petals clumped at the top of a green stem.
Cleome lutea

Family: Capparaceae – Caper Family

Cleome lutea (Yellow beeplant) is the only species from this family represented at Arches National Park.

Annual herbs; stems 11.8” to 4.9' (3 to 15 dm) tall

Leaves: alternate; palmately compound; entire; 3 to 7 leaflets; leaflets 0.32” to 0.4” (0.8 to 5 cm) long, 0.08” to 0.4” (2 to 10 mm) wide

Flowers: 4 yellow petals; 4 sepals; stamens commonly 6; 1 pistil; stamens extend above the top of the flower; petals 0.2” to 0.32” (5 to 8 mm)

Pollinators: other Cleome species are pollinated by bees

Fruits: capsule (mustard-like pod)

Blooms in Arches National Park: April, May, June, July, August, September, October

Habitat in Arches National Park: desert shrub and pinyon-juniper communities

Location seen: Delicate Arch Viewpoint, along Hwy. 191 near mouth of Courthouse Wash , west park boundary

Other: The genus name, "Cleome", is an ancient name for a mustard-like plant and the species name, "lutea", means "yellow".

This family closely resembles mustards (Brassicaceae), but this family has stamens that are all of one length and mustards do not.

Last updated: January 21, 2022

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