Carnegiea gigantea, Giant Saguaro

Southwest Desert Flora

Home to the plants of the Sonoran, Chihuahuan and Mojave Deserts

Cirsium ochrocentrum, Yellowspine Thistle

Polanisia dodecandra, Redwhisker Clammyweed

Polanisia dodecandra, Redwhisker Clammyweed Polanisia dodecandra, Redwhisker Clammyweed Polanisia dodecandra, Redwhisker Clammyweed Polanisia dodecandra, Redwhisker Clammyweed

Scientific Name: Polanisia dodecandra
Common Name: Redwhisker Clammyweed
Also Called: Clammyweed, Red-whisker Clammyweed, Rio Grande Clammyweed, Roughseed Clammyweed, Sandyseed Clammyweed, Western Clammyweed
Family: Capparaceae (or Capparidaceae), Caper Family
Synonyms: (Cleome dodecandra, Polanisia trachysperma)
Status: Native
Duration: Annual
Size: Up to 2 feet or more.
Growth Form: Forb/herb; stems erect, multiple lateral branches, glandular hair throughout that secret a sticky sap.
Leaves: Green; glandular, palmately compound, distinct petioles, margins entire.
Flower Color: Variable, white, cream, pink or purple; flowers on terminal clusters, stamens are exserted beyond petals, anthers and stigma purple, fruit a capsule, seeds reddish brown.
Flowering Season: May to October.
Elevation: 1,000 to 6,500 feet.

Habitat Preferences: Sandy stream beds, roadsides and disturbed areas.

Recorded Range: Redwhisker Clammyweed is found throughout most of the United States and Canada. It is also native to northern Mexico.

North America & US County Distribution Map for Polanisia dodecandra.

U.S. Weed Information: No data available.
Invasive/Noxious Weed Information: No data available.

Wetland Indicator: Polanisia dodecandra is included on the USDA 2012 National Wetland Plant List. It is listed as a: Facultative Upland (FACU) and Obligate Upland species. FACU: Usually occur in non-wetlands, but may occur in wetlands. UPL: Obligate Upland.

Threatened/Endangered Information: The state of Connecticut has listed Polanisia dodecandra a species of Special Concern; the state of Maryland has listed Polanisia dodecandra as Endangered.

Genus Information: 5 species in Polanisia throughout most of the United States, Canada and Mexico.

3 sub-species in Polanisia dodecandra:
Polanisia dodecandra ssp. dodecandra, Redwhisker Clammyweed (found in AZ, most of the US and Canada);
Polanisia dodecandra ssp. riograndensis, Rio Grande Clammyweed (found in TX only) and
Polanisia dodecandra ssp. trachysperma, Sandyseed Clammyweed (found in AZ, most of the US and much of Canada).

Comments: Redwhisker Clammyweed, with its distinct unpleasant odor is common where found in Arizona. It is called Clammyweed because it has glandular hairs that secret a sticky sap.

Date Profile Completed: 2/2/2015, 07/20/2015, updated 04/07/2017, updated format 10/11/2017
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service on-line database – ITIS search
Arizona Flora, Kearney, Thomas H., Peebles, Robert H., 1960, University of California Press, Berkley and Los Angeles, California, as Polanisia trachysperma.
Gordon C. Tucker, FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 7 | Cleomaceae | Polanisia, Page 201, 202, Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds. 1993+. Flora of North America North of Mexico. 16+ vols. New York and Oxford. (accessed 2/2/2015).
Native Plant Information Network, NPIN (2013). Published on the Internet [accessed: 2/2/2015]. Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas, Austin, TX.
1993, The Jepson Manual, Citation: (accessed 2/2/2015)
Wikipedia contributors, 'Capparaceae', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 27 January 2015, 11:07 UTC. [accessed 2 February 2015]
SEINet for synonyms, scientific names and recorded geographic locations,