The Asian spiderflower or tick weed is an annual herb, up to a meter high. It belongs to family Capparidaceae. This weed can be found through out Maldives. Cleome viscosa is easy to identify with its small yellow flowers, its fruits only opening up to halfway and its sticky indumentum. The seeds have no dormancy and germinate readily after shedding. Plants start flowering 3–4 weeks after germination and the life cycle is about 3 months. The flowers are ephemeral, opening in the morning and closing in the afternoon.
Asian spiderflower's facts
The plant is used as a stimulant in food in order to improve the appetite in some countries.
Asian spiderflower's Behavior & Ecology
A plant of the moist tropics, in some regions of the world, it is found at elevations up to 1,000 metres in areas with a distinct dry season as well as in areas with no dry season. Prefers a light fertile soil in a warm dry sunny position with plenty of room to spread. Plants start flowering 3 - 4 weeks after germination and the life cycle is about 3 months. The flowers are ephemeral, opening in the morning and closing in the afternoon. The crop is not attacked by insect pests nor damaged by wildlife because of its sticky nature and strong pungent odour.
Asian spiderflower's Reproduction
Cleome species flowers are complete, bisexual, i.e., with functional male (androecium) and female (gynoecium), including stamens, carpels and ovary. Pollination is entomophilous i.e., by insects, or cleistogamy i.e., by self or allogamy i.e., by cross pollination. Flowering/Fruiting: Throughout the year.
Seeds may be dispersed by autochory (self dispersal) anemochory (wind dispersal), zoochory (dispersal by birds or animals), anthropochory (dispersal by humans).
Asian spiderflower's Relationship with Humans
There is no known uses of this plant in Maldives but in some countries, this plant is used for cooking and used for medicinal purposes.