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Bruso, George H.
Cleome serrulata Pursh
Rocky Mountain beeplant, Rocky mountain bee plant, Waa, Skunk weed
USDA Symbol: clse
USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.
Annual with erect stem is leafy and branching above. Leaflets occur in threes. Branched stems have palmately compound leaves and, in racemes at ends of branches, pink or reddish-purple flowers (sometimes white). Showy clusters of pink flowers continue to elongate during the season, so that the slender seed capsules may be present even while the upper portion of the inflorescence in still flowering. Six conspicuous stamens protrude beyond the pink petals. Rocky Mountain beeplant may attain 4-5 ft.
Flowers produce copious nectar and attract bees, hence the common name. Indians boiled the strong leaves for food and as a stomachache remedy. In times of drought early Spanish-Americans made tortillas from the barely palatable but nourishing seeds.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Annual Habit: Herb Leaf:
Green Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Pink
Bloom Time: Jul , Aug , Sep
AZ , CA , CO , CT , IA , ID , IL , IN , KS , MA , ME , MI , MN , MO , MT , ND , NE , NM , NV , NY , OH , OK , OR , SD , TX , UT , WA , WI , WY Canada: AB Native Distribution:
E. WA to CA, e. to Sask. & extreme n.e. TX; introduced eastward Native Habitat:
Prairies; open woods; wash areas; disturbed sites USDA Native Status: L48(N), CAN(N)
Growing ConditionsWater Use:
Medium Light Requirement:
Sun , Part Shade Soil Moisture:
Dry CaCO3 Tolerance:
Medium Soil Description:
Well-drained, sandy soils. Conditions Comments:
Members of this genus
have been cultivated as garden ornamentals. Rocky Mountain beeplant is recommended for short-term stabilization and beautification.
BenefitUse Wildlife: Bees are attracted to the pink flowers, and seeds are important food for doves and other small birds.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Deer Resistant: Minimal
Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)
is a larval host and/or nectar source for:
Propagate by seed. Sow thickly as germination is poor. Seed Collection:
Rounded, brown, corn-shaped seeds fall out of the pod
at maturity. Seed Treatment:
No treatment is necessary but moist stratification may enhance germination. Commercially Avail:
From the National Organizations Directory
According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:
Native Seed Network
- Corvallis, OR
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Record Modified: 2010-09-09
Research By: TWC Staff