Cleomella Species, Bladderpod, Spiderflower

Cleomella arborea

Family: Cleomaceae
Genus: Cleomella (klee-oh-MEL-uh) (Info)
Species: arborea (ar-BOR-ee-uh) (Info)
Synonym:Cleome isomeris
Synonym:Isomeris arborea
Synonym:Isomeris arborea var. insularis
Synonym:Peritoma arborea
View this plant in a garden



Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)


USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Gold (yellow-orange)

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Winter/Early Spring

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Lake Havasu City, Arizona

Arroyo Grande, California

Fairfield, California

La Jolla, California

Long Beach, California(2 reports)

Los Angeles, California

Lucerne Valley, California

Richmond, California

San Diego, California

West Sacramento, California

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Feb 15, 2010, AmyMorie from Green Cove Springs, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

Very happy native if not over-watered in the garden. Flowers much of the year in Los Angeles area; self-seeds if happy but easy to control. I've had about 50% success rate with small transplants. Grey-green foliage and lacy texture outstanding mixed with Jerusalem Sage (Phlomis fruticosa) for contrast and year-round interest.


On Jun 14, 2009, plutodrive from Denver, CO (Zone 5b) wrote:

Isomeris arborea's fruit is edible.


On Oct 27, 2008, caopenspace_org from Long Beach, CA wrote:

I grew several of these in peat pots with a mix of peat moss and planting soil, planted seed 1/4" deep and kept moist until sprouted. My seedlings grew best in shaded area until the plant is about 6" high, then "harden" in direct sun. I collected seeds from dried pods that had fallen on the ground. Birds love the seed. Good background plant in my California native garden.


On Oct 8, 2006, Marmared from West Sacramento, CA wrote:

I have this plant growing in heavy clay soil. It is one of the few plants able to grow in an area which gets little water. Very colorful.


On Mar 21, 2006, desert_witch from Lucerne Valley, CA (Zone 8a) wrote:

I think it's a pretty desert shrub. If transplanting, get it while it's very small, as it's got a long taproot which makes it difficult to move once established.


On Mar 8, 2004, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Peculiar native shrub to Southern California and Baja California. Has bright deep yellow flowers in early spring, later winter and swollen, 'bladder-like' seed pods. Very drought tolerant plant.