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Uses

Edible uses

Notes

Young shoots, leaves and flowers are cooked and used as potherbs[1][2][3][4]. The plants were gathered and, after removing an alkaline taste[1], were eaten with cornmeal porridge[5][4]. The plant smells like a skunk, but it was an important potherb for the native North American Indians and the early European settlers in America[6].

Seed - raw or cooked[7]. It can be dried and ground into a meal then used as a mush or mixed with flour to make bread etc[8][4][6][7]. Seedpods - cooked[4].

The hardened cakes of dyestuff (see note on the plants other uses) can be soaked in hot water and then eaten fried[6].

Flowers

Leaves

Seedpod

Material uses

A black dye is obtained[1][5][8] by boiling down the whole plant[9]. It is used as a paint for decorating pottery[6]. The young plants are harvested in mid-summer, boiled well in water, the woody parts of the plant are removed and the decoction is boiled again until it becomes thick and turns black. This thick liquid is then poured onto a board to dry in cakes and can be kept for an indefinite period. When needed it is soaked in hot water until the correct consistency for paint is achieved[6]. A decoction of the leaves has been used as a body and shoe deodorant[7].

Unknown part

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

An infusion of the plant is drunk in the treatment of fevers and stomach disorders[10][7]. A poultice made from the pounded, soaked leaves has been applied to sore eyes[7].

Unknown part

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

Propagation

Seed - surface sow or only lightly cover the seed in spring in a greenhouse[11]. The seed usually germinates in 5 - 14 days at 25°c[11]. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in late spring. Day time temperatures below 20°c depress germination but a night time fall to 20° is necessary[11].

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Cleome serrulata. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.



Cultivation

Prefers a light fertile soil in a warm dry sunny position with plenty of room to spread[12].

A frost tender plant, it can be grown as a summer annual in Britain[12]. A very good bee plant, it is often planted by apiarists in America[6].

This plant was probably cultivated by the N. American Indians[8]. The Indians would allow the plant to produce seed when it was growing wild in the cornfields in order to ensure a supply the following year[13].

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Cleome serrulata. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Cleome serrulata.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Cleome serrulata
Genus
Cleome
Family
Capparidaceae
Imported References
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Botanic
Propagation
Cultivation
Environment
Cultivation
Uses
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Functions
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Environment
Hardiness Zone
?
Heat Zone
?
Water
moderate
Sun
full sun
Shade
light shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    Ecosystems
    Native Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Adapted Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Native Geographical Range
    None listed.
    Native Environment
    None listed.
    Ecosystem Niche
    None listed.
    Root Zone Tendancy
    None listed.
    Life
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    ?
    Herbaceous or Woody
    ?
    Life Cycle
    Growth Rate
    ?
    Mature Size
    1 x meters
    Fertility
    ?
    Pollinators
    Flower Colour
    ?
    Flower Type











    References

    1. ? 1.01.11.21.31.4 Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants. Weinheim (1959-00-00)
    2. ? 2.02.1 Tanaka. T. Tanaka's Cyclopaedia of Edible Plants of the World. Keigaku Publishing (1976-00-00)
    3. ? 3.03.1 Yanovsky. E. Food Plants of the N. American Indians. Publication no. 237. U.S. Depf of Agriculture. ()
    4. ? 4.04.14.24.34.4 Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (1990-00-00)
    5. ? 5.05.15.25.3 Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man. Constable ISBN 0094579202 (1974-00-00)
    6. ? 6.06.16.26.36.46.56.66.7 Coffey. T. The History and Folklore of North American Wild Flowers. Facts on File. ISBN 0-8160-2624-6 (1993-00-00)
    7. ? 7.07.17.27.37.47.57.67.7 Moerman. D. Native American Ethnobotany Timber Press. Oregon. ISBN 0-88192-453-9 (1998-00-00)
    8. ? 8.08.18.28.38.4 Harrington. H. D. Edible Native Plants of the Rocky Mountains. University of New Mexico Press ISBN 0-8623-0343-9 (1967-00-00)
    9. ? 9.09.1 Saunders. C. F. Edible and Useful Wild Plants of the United States and Canada. Dover Publications ISBN 0-486-23310-3 (1976-00-00)
    10. ? 10.010.1 Weiner. M. A. Earth Medicine, Earth Food. Ballantine Books ISBN 0-449-90589-6 (1980-00-00)
    11. ? 11.011.111.2 Bird. R. (Editor) Growing from Seed. Volume 4. Thompson and Morgan. (1990-00-00)
    12. ? 12.012.112.2 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
    13. ? Whiting. A. F. Ethnobotany of the Hopi North Arizona Society of Science and Art (1939-00-00)
    14. ? Hitchcock. C. L. Vascular Plants of the Pacific Northwest. University of Washington Press (1955-00-00)