Capparidaceae
Cleome platycarpa

Golden Bee Plant

Erect, densely branched from base. Stems green, tinted purple, heavily covered with glistening hairs. Leaves to 2 in. long, divided palmately into 3 leaflets, petioled. Flowers in tight clusters, golden yellow with 4 small outer sepals, 4 petals, 6 stamens extended beyond petals giving flower a starburst look. Seedpods oblong, flat-hairy, hanging at base of flower cluster. Grows in alkaline, volcanic soils in dry steppe areas, at 4000–5000 ft. Found at John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, coloring folds of Painted Hills after spring rains. Very similar yellow bee plant, C. lutea, grows in same area, has 5 leaflets and large, round, pea pod-like fruits.

  • Rarity: Uncommon
  • Flowering Time: Late Spring, Early Summer
  • Life Cycle: Annual
  • Height: 6--36 inches
  • Habitat: Shrub-Steppe
  • Found In: Great Basin
  • Native: Yes