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Peritoma serrulata (Rocky mountain bee-plant)
Reveal, James L.

Peritoma serrulata

Peritoma serrulata (Pursh) de Candolle

Rocky Mountain Bee-plant, Stinking-clover, Bee Spiderflower, Navajo Spinach, Pink Cleome, Toothed Spiderflower, Skunkweed

Capparaceae (Caper Family)

Synonym(s): Cleome serrulata

USDA Symbol: PESE7

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

"Annuals, 30-80 cm. Stems sparsely branched; glabrous or glabrate. Leaves: (stipules bristlelike), petiole 1.5-3.5 cm; leaflets 3, blade elliptic, 2-6 0.6-1.5 cm, margins entire, weakly sinuate, or serrulate, apex acute, long-acuminate, or mucronate, surfaces glabrate (margins with sparse, relatively long hairs when young). Racemes 1-4 cm (4-30 cm in fruit); bracts unifoliate, obovate, 4-22 mm. Pedicels (green to purple), 8-20 mm. Flowers: sepals persistent, connate 1/2-2/3 of length, purple to green, lanceolate, 1.7-4 1-2 mm, margins denticulate, glabrous; petals purple (rarely white), oblong to ovate, 7-12 3-6 mm; stamens purple, 18-24 mm; anthers (green), 2-2.3 mm; gynophore 1-15 mm in fruit; ovary 5-7 mm; style 0.1-0.5 mm. Capsules (erect) not inflated, 23-76 3-6(-7) mm, striate, (glabrous). Seeds 12-38, black, globose or horseshoe-shaped, 2.8-4 2.5-3 mm, rugose. 2n = 34, 60." (Webref: 3).

"Most collections of Peritoma serrulata from the northeastern and midwestern United States apparently represent non-persistent waifs or garden escapes. The species has been cultivated as a source of nectar for honeybees since ca. 1880 (L. H. Bailey 1900-1902). It shows considerable variation in fruit size, even within populations. The variation may reflect environmental influences, especially water availability, rather than genetics (H. H. Iltis 1952)." (Webref: 3). "Not native to California" (Webref: 30).

 

From the Image Gallery

22 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Annual
Habit: Herb
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Palmate , Trifoliate
Leaf Shape: Elliptic
Leaf Pubescence: Glabrous
Leaf Margin: Entire , Serrulate
Leaf Apex: Acuminate , Acute , Mucronate
Size Notes: Usually to about 32 in height. Can reach 6 feet in height.
Leaf: "Leaves: (stipules bristlelike), petiole 1.5-3.5 cm; leaflets 3, blade elliptic, 2-6 0.6-1.5 cm, margins entire, weakly sinuate, or serrulate, apex acute, long-acuminate, or mucronate, surfaces glabrate (margins with sparse, relatively long hairs when young)." (Webref: 3)
Flower: "Racemes 1-4 cm (4-30 cm in fruit); bracts unifoliate, obovate, 4-22 mm. Pedicels (green to purple), 8-20 mm. Flowers: sepals persistent, connate 1/2-2/3 of length, purple to green, lanceolate, 1.7-4 1-2 mm, margins denticulate, glabrous; petals purple (rarely white), oblong to ovate, 7-12 3-6 mm; stamens purple, 18-24 mm; anthers (green), 2-2.3 mm; gynophore 1-15 mm in fruit; ovary 5-7 mm; style 0.1-0.5 mm." (Webref: 3)
Fruit: "Capsules (erect) not inflated, 23-76 3-6(-7) mm, striate, (glabrous). Seeds 12-38, black, globose or horseshoe-shaped, 2.8-4 2.5-3 mm, rugose." (Webref: 3)

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Purple
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep
Bloom Notes: "Petals purple (rarely white)." (Webref: 3).

Distribution

USA: AZ , CA , CO , IA , ID , IL , IN , KS , MA , MI , MN , MO , MT , ND , NE , NM , NV , OH , OK , OR , SD , TX , UT , WA , WY
Canada: AB , BC , MB , ON , SK
Native Distribution: "Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, Saskatchewan; Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wyoming." (Webref: 3). "Most collections of Peritoma serrulata from the northeastern and midwestern United States apparently represent non-persistent waifs or garden escapes." (Webref: 3).
Native Habitat: "Shortgrass and mixed grass prairies, pastures, pinyon pine and juniper woodland, desert scrub, roadsides, stabilized sand dunes; (100-) 300-2500(-2900) m." (Webref: 3).

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun , Shade
Soil pH: Alkaline (pH>7.2) , Acidic (pH<6.8) , Circumneutral (pH 6.8-7.2)
Cold Tolerant: yes
Heat Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: "Most common on well-drained, moist to dry, medium-textured to sandy soils with pH 6 to 7.6, but it also occurs on clay and gravel soils." (Webref: 148).
Conditions Comments: "Not tolerant of waterlogging." (Webref: 148).

Benefit

Use Wildlife: "Seeds of Rocky Mountain beeplant are used by pocket mice (Perognathus longimembris)
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Larval Host: Larval host for the checkered white (Pontia protodice). (Webref: 148).
Nectar Source: yes
Deer Resistant: High

Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)

Checkered White
(Pontia protodice)

Larval Host
Learn more at BAMONA

Web Reference

Webref 30 - Calflora (2018) Calflora
Webref 3 - Flora of North America (2014) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 148 - Western forbs: Biology, ecology, and use in restoration - Grays Biscuitroot (2020) Great Basin Fire Science Exchange

Additional resources

USDA: Find Peritoma serrulata in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Peritoma serrulata in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Peritoma serrulata

Metadata

Record Modified: 2022-08-01
Research By: JAM

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