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Cleome rutidosperma DC.

Family Name: Capparaceae
Synonyms: Cleome ciliata
Common Name: Fringed Spiderflower, Ciliate Spider-Flower, Consumption Weed, Wild Cat's Whiskers, 平伏莖白花菜, 成功白花菜
Semi-Shade Moderate Water Caterpillar Food Plant Annual Woody Herbaceous


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Shrub (Herbaceous)
Lifespan (in Singapore) Annual
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Maximum Height 0.2 m to 1 m


Native Distribution Tropical Africa

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form Herbaceous plants that form dense mats or grow as an epiphyte.
Foliage Compound, trifoliate leaves are composed of elliptic to narrowly ovate leaflets. The leaflets are tightly packed together and united at the base without any intervening stalk. The sunken, pinnate venation creates a quilted leaf surface.
Flowers The flower are composed of 4 reddish petals that gradually fade to pink or light purple. The petals point upwards and are arranged side-by-side in a fan-like pattern.
Fruits Dry, dehiscent fruits are known as capsules. Fruits are cylindrical with a beak at the tip (5-7 cm long, 0.4-0.5 cm wide). They have 2 compartments which hold many, tiny seeds that are brown to black and have a ribbed surface. Ants help to disperse seeds.
Habitat Occurs in forests and disturbed or abandoned land. Epiphytic forms grow on trees or the side of cliffs and walls. In Malaysia and the Philippines, it is considered a weed, invading various types of crop fields.
Associated Fauna Host plant for Striped Albatross (Appia libythea olferna), the Pysche (Leptosia nina malayana) and Cabbage White (Pieris canidia canidia)

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Fauna Pollination Dispersal Associated Fauna Caterpillar Food Plant

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Semi-Shade
Water Preference Moderate Water


Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower Colour(s) Purple, Pink

Image Repository



Master ID 520
Species ID 1816
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 21 October 2020.

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