Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

JSP Page
Cleome vahliana Fresen. in Mus. Senck. 2: 110. 1837. C. brachycarpa Vahl ex DC., Prodr. 1: 240. 1824, p.p. [non Gynandropsis brachycarpa (Vahl) DC.]; Hook. f. & Thomson in Fl. Brit. India 1: 169. 1872. C. brachycarpa var. longipetiolata Sabnis in J. Indian Bot. Soc. 3: 178. 1924. C. brachycarpa var. glauca Blatter & Hallberg in J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 26: 221. 1918.

Guj.: Kasturi; Raj.: Kasturi, Khira-mor, Madhio, Nadi, Noli, Ponwar.

Herbs, annual or perennial, woody, erect to suberect, up to 50 cm high; stems much branched, glaucous with odour of musk or rue, glandular-pubescent with stiff hairs, at length subglabrescent. Leaves digitately 3 - 5-foliolate at base, higher above, ternate to simple; leaflets obovate, oblanceolate or oblong, acute to subobtuse-mucronate at apex, 6 - 16 x 2 - 5 mm, glandular-pubescent, viscid, rarely glabrescent, except at margins; petioles 5 - 35 mm long; petiolules very short. Flowers yellow, 5 - 8 mm across in lax bracteate racemes; bracts subsessile, simple or 3-foliolate; pedicels filiform, 9 - 15 mm long. Sepals elliptic to ovate-lanceolate, 2.5 - 3 x 1 mm, glandular hairy. Petals ovate-oblong, subacute, 6 - 8 x 2 - 2.5 mm, glabrous, yeUow, with a scale-like appendage above the claw. Stamens 6, one rarely imperfect, shorter than petals. Gynophore up to 1 mm long; ovary glandular hairy; style slender, 5 - 6 mm long; stigma capitate. Capsules oblong, inflated, tipped with persistent style, 8 - 12 mm long, 2.5 - 3.5 mm thick, glandular pubescent; seeds many, minutely pitted, rugulose with closed cleft, 0.6 - 0.8 mm across, dark brown, glabrous.

Fl. & Fr. Throughout the year, peak period Oct. - Nov.

Distrib. India: Semi-arid regions from sea level to 600 m, in gravelly or rocky hillocks and sandy tracks, often associated with Heliotropium rariflorum, Bouchea marrubifolia, etc. Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat.

Pakistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia and tropical N.E. Africa.

Notes. Leaves used as fodder for sheep, goats, camels, etc. An infusion of leaves is reportedly efficaceous for removing worms and insects from ears of camels. The plant is reported to be a snake repellant.

The plants are highly variable with regard to length of petiole; glandular pubescence, reticulation of seeds, etc. The petiole is often as long as 3.5 cm in some lower leaves. Similarly the seeds are glabrous when young, but minutely rugulose or reticulate when fully mature. As these are highly variable and fluctuating characters even for demarcation as varieties, the var. glauca Blatter & Hallb. and var. longipetiolata are treated as synonyms only.

The earliest binomial for this species is C. omithopodioides Forsskal (1775) which is a later homonym of C. omithopodioides L. (1753). The next epithet C. parviflora R. Br. is a nomen nudum. The specific epithet C. brachycarpa attributed to Vahl, refers to two different elements, one of which is Peruvian plant which De Candolle had transferred to Gynandropsis calling it G. brachycarpa (Vahl) DC. The other is an ineditus name by Vahl for an Arabic plant, described as C. ornithopodioides by Forsskal. Since C brachycarpa Vahl forms the basionym, as well as type of the Peruvian plant G. brachycarpa (Vahl) DC., the next available binomial, Cleome vahliana Fresen. is the valid and legtimate name of the Indo-arabic species.

JSP Page
  • Search