Thomas J. Elpel's
Web World Portal


Wildflower Logo.
Wildflowers & Weeds

Facebook Button.
Banner Image.
Wildflowers-and-Weeds.com  
Plant Identification, Edible Plants, Weed Ecology, Mushrooms, and more.
Home | Plant Identification | Plant Families Gallery | Edible Plants | Mushrooms | Links
Desertification & Weed Ecology | Weed Profiles | E-Mail | Search this Site

Cleomaceae: Caper Family Plant Identification Characteristics

Cleomaceae
Plants of the Beeplant Family

      If you find a plant that looks like a hybrid between the Mustard and Pea families, it is likely a member of the Beeplant family. Beeplants are closely related to the Mustard Family, but resemble Pea family plants in the shape and curvature of the seed pods. Many species also have trifoliate or palmate leaves like clovers and lupines of the Pea family. Beeplants were formerly placed within the Caper family (Capparaceae), but genetic research places them closer to the Mustards than Capers, earning them a new family of their own.

      Beeplants are mostly herbs or shrubs with trifoliate, alternate leaves, like those shown above. The flowers are regular or slightly irregular, and bisexual with 4 separate sepals, 4 separate petals, and 4 to numerous stamens. The ovary is positioned superior and consists of 2 united carpels with 1 or more kidney-shaped seeds. Worldwide, there are about 8 genera and 275 species, including about 6 genera in North America. Many species are adapted to desert or tropical conditions. Only Cleome and Polanisia are widespread across North America. Rocky Mountain bee plant (Cleome serrulata) is one of my favorite western roadside plants, growing in cheery purple patches that often string along the roadside for miles where there are sedimentary soils.

Key Words: Mustard-like flowers with pea-like pods.

Please e-mail Thomas J. Elpel to report mistakes or to inquire about purchasing high resolution photos of these plants.


Cleome serrulata. Rocky Mountain Beeplant.

Cleome serrulata. Rocky Mountain Beeplant. An annual, native wildflower. Intermittently common across the Rocky Mountains. Often found along roadsides.

Cleome serrulata. Rocky Mountain Beeplant.

Cleome serrulata. Rocky Mountain Beeplant.

Cleome hasslerana. Spider Flower.

Cleome hasslerana. Spider Flower. An annual, cultivated flower, native to South America. Contributed by Mike McCracken of Alabama.

Foraging the Mountain West
Foraging the Mountain West
Polanisia dodecandra. Redwhisker clammyweed.

Polanisia dodecandra. Redwhisker clammyweed.

Polanisia dodecandra. Redwhisker clammyweed.

Polanisia dodecandra. Redwhisker clammyweed. Tongue River, Eastern Montana.

There are more
Caper Family pictures
at PlantSystematics.org
and at the Desert-Tropicals Website


Botany in a Day: The Patterns Method of Plant Identification
Identify plants with
Botany in a Day
Foraging the Mountain West
Start feasting with
Foraging the Mountain West

Return to the Plant Families Index
Return to the Wildflowers & Weeds Home Page

Books
authored by
Thomas J. Elpel
Roadmap to Reality: Consciousness, Worldviews, andthe Blossoming of Human Spirit
Roadmap
to Reality
Living Homes: Stone Masonry, Log, and Strawbale Construction
Living
Homes
Participating in Nature: Wilderness Survival and Primitive Living Skills.
Participating
in Nature
Foraging the Mountain West: Gourmet Edible Plants, Mushrooms, and Meat.
Foraging the
Mountain West
Botany in a Day: The Patterns Method of Plant Identification
Botany
in a Day
Shanleya's Quest: A Botany Adventure for Kids
Shanleya's
Quest

Portal Icon.
Return to Thomas J. Elpel's
Web World Portal | Web World Tunnel

Thomas J. Elpel's Web World Pages
About Tom | Green University®, LLC
HOPS Press, LLC | Dirt Cheap Builder Books
Primitive Living Skills | Outdoor Wilderness Living School, LLC
Wildflowers & Weeds | Jefferson River Canoe Trail
Roadmap To Reality | What's New?

© 1997 - 2017 Thomas J. Elpel