Flora of the Nilgiris

Family : Capparaceae
Flora of Nilgiri Biosphere (Northern Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve)

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Cleome viscosa L.

Leaf arrangement

Alternate distichous

Leaf Type

Leaf Shape

Obovate, Elliptic

Leaf Apex


Leaf Base


Leaf Margin


Habit : A small herb.

Habitat and Distribution : Locally abundant as a weed in fallow lands, wayside, dry river beds or even in very poor soils. Plains from the coast upto 900m.Native to tropical Africa, south Arabia, tropical Australia and Malaysia.

Indigenous Information : Leaves used in traditional medicine. Cattle stay away from it.

Field Tips : Foetid when broken. Whole plant is glandular hairy.


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English : Yellow Spider Flower
Irula : Kaatu belai
Tamil : Naivelai, Naikadugu
Hindi : Hurhur
Malayalam : Ariavala


In racemes, yellow. Flowering throughout the year.

Fruit :

A capsule, terete, glandular hairy.  Seeds many, glabrous with transverse ridges, prominent, concentric ones faint. Fruiting throughout the year.

All from Capparaceae
Flora of Nilgiri Biosphere (Northern Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve)