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SHOWING RECORD: 7 of 10   Rocky Mountain Bee Plant
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image: Rocky Mountain Bee Plant
Photograph by Scott T. Smith/Corbis
Rocky Mountain Bee Plant

Cleome serrulata

First Noted by Expedition
August 25, 1804, in Vermillion, South Dakota.

Branched stems have palmately compound leaves and, in racemes at ends of branches, pink or reddish purple flowers (sometimes white). Flowers 0.5 in (1.3 cm) long. Height: 0.5-5 ft (0.2-1.5 m).

Plains and rangeland, foothills of lower mountains.

Eastern Washington to northern California; east on most of the Great Plains; south to central Arizona, central New Mexico, and northern Texas; introduced elsewhere.

The flowers produce copious nectar and attract bees, hence the common name. Indians boiled the strong leaves for food and as a stomachache remedy. In times of drought early Spanish-Americans made tortillas from the barely palatable but nourishing seeds.

Species information from enature.com

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