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Description & Remarks
A new plant for Israel, previously known to us only from the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt, discovered on Mt Tzfahot south of Eilat by Dudi Rivner in 2017, which was especially rainy in that region.
It is a 20-45 cm tall shrublet, which is woody only at the base, and is covered with glandular hair that has a pleasant, peach-like smell (unlike other species of Cleome that have an unpleasant smell). The leaves are plain and oval, with one central midrib, 1-2cm long and 0.5-1 cm wide. The leaf is covered with glandular hair, but also has long soft hair. The petiole is 0.3-1.2 cm long. The flowers are set singly within leaf-like bracts at the upper part of the stem. They create a sparse raceme. The flower has a two-sided symmetry, like all species of Cleome. The flowers’ pedicels are 1.5-5 cm long, and they thicken and curve downwards at the fruiting stage. The four sepals are green, oval, and 2-8 mm long. The four petals are bright yellow, obovate. Every flower has 8-14 stamens – the lower ones larger than the upper ones. The fruit is an oval capsule 6-8 mm long, somewhat flattened, with a visible style at the top. There are many tiny seeds; they are 1 mm in size, reticulated and hairless.
O. Fragman-Sapir, 2018, translation by Sheila Hattis Rolef