Spider Wisp (Cleome gynandra)

It’s baaaack! I’ve been seeing these plants pop up over the past month as the land drinks in the winter rains. Not to be confused with several species of Cleome spp. grown in flower gardens, the spider wisp (Cleome gynandra) is yet another example of highly nutrition wild greens and medicine considered a “weed” to those not in the know. Originating from Africa, it can now be found in tropical and subtropical locations around the globe.

Green Deane’s website has the best write-up I’ve seen on the plant ——-> SEE HERE

Leaves have 5 lobes, are edible, and typically are prickly along the edges (which cooks out).
Photo by Sunny Savage

Spiderwisp is shown inside the red line; outside the red line is purslane (Portulaca oleracea), Spanish needles (Bidens pilosa), false mallow (Malvastrum coromandelianum), and others. Photo by Sunny Savage

It’s four-petaled flowers look very similar to the mustards (Brassicaceae Family), and are also edible. Photo by Sunny Savage

The long protruding seedpods give the plant its characteristic look. Seeds are edible. Photo by Sunny Savage

The leaves, flowers, and seeds of spider wisp are edible cooked. This photo was taken in the parking lot of Mana Foods on Maui, Hawai’i. If you would like to eat the abundant wild greens that prolifically grow there, you might consider politely asking management to petition the contracted caretakers stop the archaic practice of spraying pesticides!
Photo by Sunny Savage

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