in A. P. de Candolle and A. L. P. P. de Candolle, Prodr. 1: 241. 1824. 1824
Annuals or perennials, 30–100 cm. Stems sparsely branched, (often decumbent); glabrous or glabrescent to slightly scabrous (sometimes glandular-pubescent). Leaves: stipules 0–0.5 mm; petiole (winged proximally), 0.5–3.5 cm; leaflets 3, blade oblanceolate to rhombic-elliptic, 1–3.5 × 0.5–1.7 cm, margins entire or serrulate-ciliate, apex usually acute to obtuse, sometimes acuminate, surfaces with curved hairs on veins abaxially, glabrous adaxially. Racemes 2–4 cm (8–15 cm in fruit); bracts trifoliate, 10–35 mm. Pedicels 11–21 mm (18–30 mm in fruit). Flowers: sepals yellow, lanceolate, 2.5–4 × 0.2–0.3 mm, margins denticulate, ciliate, glabrous; petals white or purple-speckled (2 central ones with yellow transverse band abaxially), oblong to narrowly ovate, 7–10 × 1.5–2.3 mm; stamens yellow, 5–7 mm; anthers 1–2 mm; gynophore 4–12 mm in fruit; ovary 2–3 mm, glabrous; style 0.5–1.4 mm. Capsules 40–70 × 3–4 mm. Seeds 4–25, reddish brown to black, reniform, 1–1.5 mm, arillate.
Phenology: Flowering ± year-round.
Habitat: Roadsides, vacant lots, canal banks, lawn edges in sun or shade
Elevation: 0-200 m
Introduced; Fla., S.C., tropical Asia, Africa, introduced also in Mexico, West Indies, Central America, South America.
Cleome rutidosperma has sometimes been misidentified as Hemiscola aculeata (Cleome aculeata); it lacks the nodal spines of that species.