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Peritoma lutea

Peritoma lutea.  Synonym: Cleome lutea. (Yellow Bee Plant)
Cleomaceae. Synonym: Capparaceae (Caper Family)
(Cleome Family)

Semi-desert, foothills, montane. Woodlands, openings. Spring, summer.
Indian Creek near Canyonlands National Park, May 19, 2004.

Beeplant often grows in very noticeable large colonies.

Capers are the pickled flower buds of a member of Capparaceae (Caper Family).

Linnaeus named this genus in 1753 and William Jackson Hooker named the species in the mid-1800s.  "Peritoma" is from the Greek for "cut around" and apparently refers to the circular splitting of the calyx base.  The word "Cleome" is of uncertain origin and "lutea" is Latin for "yellowish".

Peritoma lutea

Peritoma lutea.  Synonym: Cleome lutea. (Yellow Bee Plant)
Cleomaceae. Synonym: Capparaceae (Caper Family)
(Cleome Family)

Semi-desert, foothills, montane. Woodlands, openings. Spring, summer.
Indian Creek near Canyonlands National Park, May 19, 2004.

Click to see Peritoma serrulata.

Peritoma lutea

Peritoma lutea.  Synonym: Cleome lutea. (Yellow Bee Plant)
Cleomaceae. Synonym: Capparaceae (Caper Family)
(Cleome Family)

Semi-desert, foothills, montane. Woodlands, openings. Spring, summer.
Indian Creek near Canyonlands National Park, May 19, 2004.

Peritoma lutea

Peritoma lutea.  Synonym: Cleome lutea. (Yellow Bee Plant)
Cleomaceae. Synonym: Capparaceae (Caper Family)
(Cleome Family)

Semi-desert, foothills, montane. Woodlands, openings. Spring, summer.
Indian Creek near Canyonlands National Park, May 19, 2004.

The pincushion appearance (exserted stamens) of the flower is unusual, characteristic, and attractive.

Peritoma lutea

Peritoma lutea.  Synonym: Cleome lutea. (Yellow Bee Plant)
Cleomaceae. Synonym: Capparaceae (Caper Family)
(Cleome Family)

Semi-desert, foothills, montane. Woodlands, openings. Spring, summer.
Road to Needles District of Canyonlands National Park, July 26, 2008.

Mature plants grow to a gangly four feet tall and wide.

Peritoma lutea

Peritoma lutea.  Synonym: Cleome lutea. (Yellow Bee Plant)
Cleomaceae. Synonym: Capparaceae (Caper Family)
(Cleome Family)

Semi-desert, foothills, montane. Woodlands, openings. Spring, summer.
Road to Needles District of Canyonlands National Park, July 26, 2008.

Range map © John Kartesz,
Floristic Synthesis of North America

State Color Key

Species present in state and native
Species present in state and exotic
Species not present in state

County Color Key

Species present and not rare
Species present and rare
Species extirpated (historic)
Species extinct
Species noxious
Species exotic and present
Native species, but adventive in state
Eradicated
Questionable presence

Range map for Peritoma lutea