Tarenaya hassleriana ‘Violet Queen’

*sigh* For those of you who are email subscribers, please ignore the earlier notification of a new entry. I was trying to tidy up some of the categories for the entries, and not only did it not work, it also sent out a false notification of a new entry. Frustrating.

Anyway, a thank you to Meighan@Flickr for sharing today’s image (original image via the Botany Photo of the Day Flickr Pool). Always appreciated!

Many of you will be familiar with plants similar to the one in today’s photograph, and, if using common names, know it as spider-flower. If you are familiar with it by its scientific name, you’ll likely know it as a Cleome. However, recent examinations of the genus Cleome have revealed that about 33 closely-related species should be separated into the genus Tarenaya, including the oft-cultivated Cleome hassleriana and Cleome spinosa (now Tarenaya hassleriana and Tarenaya spinosa).

The genus Tarenaya consists typically of species native to tropical lowlands and arid plateaus of northern and eastern South America, but some members are also distributed as far north as southern Mexico and the West Indies. Tarenaya hassleriana itself is native to Brazil, Bolivia, Argentina and Paraguay.

The cultivar ‘Violet Queen’ is a part of the Queen cultivar series, also including ‘Cerise Queen’, ‘White Queen’, ‘Pink Queen’ and ‘Purple Queen’. In many areas of the world, these are cultivated as annual plants that will self-sow in succeeding years (and therefore occasionally become naturalized).

Lastly, on a local note: I’ll be participating in this weekend’s Whistler BioBlitz, so if you feel like enjoying a nature-oriented weekend, drop by and say hello.

Tarenaya hassleriana 'Violet Queen'

22 responses to “Tarenaya hassleriana ‘Violet Queen’”

  1. Earl Blackstock

    Thanks for sharing such a lovely flower.

  2. Alice Rogers

    The last 2 entries I’ve received have only shown a half-photo, with the bottom half of the photo box totally empty. Let’s get it together, OK?

  3. L. Dav

    Daniel,
    To keep you from getting TOO frustrated, I just want to say that all of your photos have been coming through beautifully to me. Something must be wrong with Alice’s computer or server.

  4. Mandy Macdonald

    ‘Reception’ fine here too. Lovely pic.

  5. Beverley

    Glorious as always, Daniel. Happy weekend to you.

  6. Lynne

    For the record, I’ve never encountered the difficulty that Alice mentioned either.
    This is beautiful. Thanks.

  7. Mary Dana

    I wish you would state the size of the plant, put a little more of the leaves in the picture, and possibly a view of the plant itself. I’m excited about these flowers and their names, but I’d like to view a little more of the plants.
    Is it possible for a forget-me-not to start up wild? I have, or had, two in my lawn last month but mowed over one.

  8. makode keshao uttamrao

    The photographs presented here of violet queen is one of the gift of nature to us. Thanking u!

  9. bleitz

    Looks like Alice has a slow down. she needs to run her cleaner or have it looked at.

  10. joan

    I think this is a wonderful photo of this plant! Makes me fall in love with it all over again.

  11. Heather

    @ Alice Rogers, this only ever happens to me when my connection has been slowed. Check your connection speed (“get it together” with your ISP!).
    @ Mary Dana – this is Botany Photo (singular) of the Day! Click on the links in the write up, or try Google Images if you want to investigate further.

  12. Daniel Mosquin

    It’s really not my intent to frustrate anyone (well, most people, anyway).
    As for presenting more of a plant species with any particular photograph — I really can only accept these criticisms when it is something I’ve photographed. When I choose a photograph that someone else has submitted, I am restricted to what they’ve sent along.
    With respect to size, I sometimes have it, sometimes not. It is hard not to be formulaic when writing within a constrained for more than the 1200th time, and the more things I have to include each day, the more formulaic things will become. Usually, I provide links — today (and I apologize for it), you’d have to go to the Tarenaya link, then follow the link on that page to get height / description information for Tarenaya hassleriana.

  13. Bonnie

    All the photo’s are coming in fine for me. And I didn’t get any extra notify. 😀

  14. elizabeth a airhart

    server is slow when the net is busy
    or lighting strikes or a virus etc
    http://www.missouriplants.com has fine series
    of photos close ups of leaves etc
    i found putting spider flower in the
    search gave a lot of results instead
    of the botanical name and illnois
    wild flower soceity and garden catalogs
    have a good day at the lake daniel
    thank you and for all the helpful comments
    that come in from around our world

  15. Douglas Justice

    For those who might be interested in why our familiar cleomes are now tarenayas (from a morphological point of view), here is an explanation from the Flora of China website (Tarenaya hassleriana is an introduced plant in China): “Traditionally included in a broad Linnaean circumscription of Cleome, Tarenaya is distinguished by its stipular thorns, petiolar spines, lack of arils, and seeds with a large cleft cavity. All species are native to tropical America, with the exception of one species in tropical W Africa.”

    On a related note, Tarenaya (I’d love for someone to explain the etymology) is a name that was published by Rafinesque. Anyone interested in the history of science would be interested in this guy. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constantine_Samuel_Rafinesque.

  16. Meighan

    Hi all, here’s a photo I took of the leaves.. Sorry I don’t have any of the flower & leaves together.
    http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1288/4712968609_b631eb5b6b_b.jpg
    The plant is growing in a container on my patio and it was difficult to get everything in the same frame and still make the photo pretty. It’s about 3 feet tall.
    Daniel & Douglas – thanks for the Tarenaya links, fascinating! I had no idea it had been reclassified, I learn so much from you guys.
    Meighan

  17. martha/all the dirt

    I love spider flowers. They re-seed in the fall and return every summer. At the end of the summer I pull them up and place the entire plant someplace new to see if they’ll emerge in more spots. My only gripe is those fat thorns on the stalks. They get me every year.

  18. David Hollombe

    Tarenaya appears in the second edition of ‘Species Plantarum’ (1763) as a synonym for Cleome spinosa, credited to (Piso &) Markgraf’s ‘Historia Naturalis Brasiliae’ (1648), but the name given there is Tareriaya brasiliensibus. Tarariaya is apparently a local name for the plant in northern Brazil.

  19. Barbara

    Alice- this has also happened to me twice. Just click the “reload” button and the picture should come through fine.
    Thank you Daniel et al for your ongoing dedication to the site!

  20. Dana

    I do love Spider Flowers! Very few plants will bloom from May through October solidly – not in flushes. I am disheartened to hear they are going to mess with the genus – that was NOT Linnaeus’ intention – he wanted one name to be recognized worldwide for a genus/species – ah well, I better get off my soapbox!
    There is a new cultivar called ‘Senorita Rosalita’ that is 2 to 3 ft tall and does not reseed, it is a light pink and the flowers are LOVED by all kinds of winged insects. I guess a drawback of sorts would be there are no insects eating the foliage which means no insects to feed my birds.
    And @MaryDana – I like to use Missouri Botanical Garden’s Plant Finder: http://www.mobot.org/gardeninghelp/plantfinder/alpha.asp if that link does not work Google MOBOT Plant Finder, it should be one of the top choices. They are centrally located in North America and this is a HUGE database of the plants they have at the Gardens.

  21. OrchidGrowinMan

    As an orchid grower, I guess I should be inured to taxonomic changes, but this strikes too close to home: I don’t like it!
    What happened to capparidaceae?
    Why was the garden plant always called Cleome _spinosa_ not C. hassleriana?
    Does anyone know if the seeds are edible? They’re the texture and size of poppy seeds, with an acceptable oily taste, and easy to collect in considerable quantities from a dooryard garden….
    Anyways, I also thought I’d add the observationinfo that this plant, like the crucifers, is attacked by Delia radicum “Cabbage Root Maggot.”
    Does capparidaceae/cleomaceae share with cruciferae and cactaceae a general non-participation in mycorrhizal relationships?

  22. Daniel Mosquin

    Capparaceae, Cleomaceae and Brassicaceae are all closely-related (I believe Capparidaceae was dropped in favour of retaining Capparaceae as a separate aside) — so I suspect they share the latter quality you suggested.
    The use of the name Cleome spinosa for plants in cultivation was a mistake propagated for many years. There is another species–not in cultivation–known as Cleome spinosa growing in the wild. Whether it was named first or whether the plants originally brought into cultivation were misidentified and the mistake was propagated, I don’t know — but these sorts of errors happen relatively often, and become really difficult to correct.

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