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Cleome viscosa L.

Cleome viscosa L.




Cleome icosandra L., Polani­sia uiscosa (L.) DC.

Vernacular Names


Mamang kebo, mamang laki, mamang utan.




Ancang ancang (Javanese), bhubhuwan (Madu­rese), susawi utan (Moluccas).


Apoi-apoian, silisian (Tagalog), hulaya (Panay Bisaya).


Sa phac son tien.


Phak som sian phee (Northern), phak sian phee (Central, Peninsular).


M[af]n m[af]n v[af]ng, s[ow]n ti[eef]n.

Geographical Distributions

Cleome viscosa is distributed throughout the tropics of the Old World and Australia, and commonly introduced in the New World.


Cleome viscosa is an annual, erect, branched herb up to 1 m tall, with yellowish, glandular hairs, vis­cid and stinking.

There are 3-5 leaflets. The central leaflet measures 1-3(-5.5) cm x (0.3-) 0.5-1.5 cm, with wedge-shaped base, acute to obtuse apex, and thinly herbaceous, while the petiole is 0.5-6 cm long. The raceme is short to elongate and with largely actinomorphic flowers. The sepals are oblong, and measure (2.5-) 6-7 mm long, while the petals are oblong, measure (4-)7-12 mm long, thin, hairless and yellow. There are (8)10-20(-30) stamens which gradu­ally increase towards the abaxial side. The bluish anthers are 1.5-2 mm long.

The capsule is linear, erect, cen­tripetal-veined, measures (1.5-)6-8(-10) cm long and with beak  2.5-4(-7) mm long.

The red-brown seeds are 1.2 mm in diametre, with narrow cleft, with strong cross-ribs and faint con­centric ribs.

Ecology / Cultivation

Cleome viscosa is a weed, very tolerant and ruderal, and occurs on fallow lands and fields, along roadsides, on rubbish heaps, of­ten on sandy, but sometimes on calcareous soils, both under seasonal dry and ever-wet conditions, from sea-level up to 500 m altitude.

Line Drawing / Photograph



  1. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No.12(2): Medicinal and poisonous plants 2.

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