Cleome viscosa L.

Last updated: 06 May 2015

Scientific Name

Cleome viscosa L.


Arivela viscosa (L.) Raf., Cleome acutifolia Elmer, Cleome icosandra L., Polanisia icosandra (L.) Wight & Arn., Polanisia microphylla Eichler, Polanisia viscosa (L.) Blume, Sinapistrum viscosum (L.) Moench [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Mamang kebo, mamang laki, mamang utan [2], maman pantai, maman putih, maman jeruk, kemaman, ketepeng, mahmud pantai [3]
English Tickweed [2], Asian spider flower, wild mustard [4]
China Huang long cai [4]
Indonesia Ancang ancang (Javanese); bhubhuwan (Madu­rese); susawi utan (Moluccas) [2]; mamang kebo, mamang laki, mamang utan, ancang-ancang, bobowan, bobowan laki, encheng-encheng, tembeking , maman [3]
Thailand Phak som sian phee (Northern); phak sian phee (Central, Peninsular) [2][3]
Laos Sa phac son tien [2]
Philippines Apoi-apoian, silisian (Tagalog); hulaya (Panay Bisaya) [2]
Vietnam M[af]n m[af]n v[af]ng, s[ow]n ti[eef]n [2]
Japan Hime-futyoso [4]
France Acaya jaune, brède caya, collant, mouzambé jaune [4]
Spain Barba de chivo, frijolillo, jitomate, malva pegajosa, plantanillo, sambo, tabaquillo [4]

Geographical Distributions

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

C. viscosa 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. [2]

Botanical Description

C. viscosa comes from the family of Capparaceae. It is an annual, erect, branched herb up to 1 m tall, with yellowish, glandular hairs, vis­cid and stinking. [2]

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. [2]

The seeds are red-brown and 1.2 mm in diametre, with narrow cleft, with strong cross-ribs and faint con­centric ribs. The capsule is linear, erect, cen­tripetal-veined, measures (1.5-)6-8(-10) cm long and with beak  2.5-4(-7) mm long. [2]


No documentation

Chemical Constituent

No documentation

Plant Part Used

No documentation

Traditional Use

No documentation

Preclinical Data

No documentation

Clinical Data

No documentation


No documentation

Poisonous Management

No documentation

Line drawing


Figure 1: The line drawing of C. viscosa L. [2]


  1. The Plant List. Ver1.1. Cleome viscosa L.[homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated 2012 Apr 18; cited 2015 May 05]. Available from:
  2. Windadri FI. Cleome viscosa L. In: Van Valkenburg JLCH, Bunyapraphatsara N, editors. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 12(2): Medicinal and poisonous plants 2. Leiden, Netherlands: Backhuys Publisher; 2001. p. 170-171.
  3. Herbal Medicine Research Centre, Institute Medical Research. Compendium of Medicinal Plants Used in Malaysia. Volume 1. Kuala Lumpur: HMRC IMR; 2002. p. 200.
  4. Philippines medicinal plants. Silisian. Polanisia icosandra Linn. [homepage on the Internet] c2014. [updated 2013 Jul; cited 2015 May 9] Available from: