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Spider Flower Cleome

Other Common Name(s):

Description

Celome is a genus in Cleomaceae (spider flower) family. This genus contains over 100 species and many cultivars. Cleome is a tall garden plant that can reach 6 feet tall but dwarf varieties are available making it useful for smaller gardens. In most areas it is grown as an annual, it grows quickly from seed and blooms all summer until frost. The large clusters of flowers bloom from bottom to top with attractive flowers with 3 inch long stamens giving them the name spider flower. The foliage may have a fetid odor and sticky feel due to glandular hairs. Some varieties will have prickles.

Spider flower grows best in full sun in moist, well-drained soil but will tolerate some drought. Avoid overwatering and over fertilizing this plant to prevent leggy growth. It can be pinched back in early summer to promote a bushier plant if desired. 

Use this plant in the back of the border for the taller types, in masse plantings or interspersed with perennials for the mixed garden to provide season-long color.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: Generally few problems but aphids, spider mites, and whiteflies can be a problem. It is susceptible to powdery mildew and rust in hot, humid climates so don't crowd the plants. 

VIDEO created by Andy Pulte for “Landscape Plant Identification, Taxonomy and Morphology” a plant identification course offered by the Department of Plant Sciences, University of Tennessee.

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See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#cultivars#hummingbirds#showy flowers#white flowers#purple flowers#pink flowers#aromatic#long-lasting flowers#tender perennials#long bloom time#border back#bee friendly#butterflies#annual#landscape plant sleuths course
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#cultivars#hummingbirds#showy flowers#white flowers#purple flowers#pink flowers#aromatic#long-lasting flowers#tender perennials#long bloom time#border back#bee friendly#butterflies#annual#landscape plant sleuths course
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Cleome
    Family:
    Cleomaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Found all over the world
    Wildlife Value:
    Flowers attract bees, humming birds and butterflies
    Dimensions:
    Height: 4 ft. 0 in. - 6 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 3 ft. 0 in. - 5 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Annual
    Perennial
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
    Appendage:
    Prickles
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    9b, 9a, 10b, 10a, 11b, 11a
  • Fruit:
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    The capsule is an elongate, cylindrical 2-valved fruit filled with numerous seeds. Once the pods dry, they pop open to release the small round brown seeds
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Pink
    Purple/Lavender
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Raceme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Long Bloom Season
    Long-lasting
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Star
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    Plants bloom from early summer until frost in a dense, 6-8 inch wide, ever-lengthening terminal raceme. Each 1–1½” wide individual flower on a 2-inch stem has 4 reflexed light green sepals, 4 clawed petals and 6 erect to spreading stamens that grow to 3-inches long with yellow-orange anthers. The petals may be white, pink, rose or purple.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Prickly
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Oblanceolate
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Description:
    The alternate leaves are palmately compound with 5-7 leaflets tapered at the base (although the leaves on the upper parts of the stems are smaller and simple). Compound leaves are 6-8 inches across. The leaflets are oval to lanceolate and their margins are smooth or serrated. There are prickles on the midrib on the underside of the leaf and a pair of small spiny stipules at the base of each leaf petiole and glandular pubescence, making it slightly sticky with exudate and a fetid smell.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Surface:
    Hairy (pubescent)
    Stem Description:
    Stems are light green and covered with long glandular hairs.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Coastal
    Container
    Patio
    Pool/Hardscape
    Landscape Theme:
    Cottage Garden
    Cutting Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Hummingbirds