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Cleome hassleriana (photo courtesy of Proven Winners)
Cleome hassleriana (photo courtesy of Proven Winners)

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Zone
Zones A1-A3, 1-45, H1, H2
Full Sun
Full
Regular Water
Moderate

Cleome hassleriana

Spider Flower
Capparidaceae
Annuals, Flowers

Shrubby, branching South American native topped in summer and fall with many open, fluffy clusters of pink or white flowers with extremely long, protruding stamens. Slender seed capsules follow the blossoms. Stems have short, strong spines; lower leaves are divided, upper ones undivided. Leaves and stems are clammy to the touch, and have a strong but not unpleasant smell.

Plant grows to 4–6 ft. tall, 4–5 ft. wide; especially vigorous in warm, dry inland areas. Grow in the background, as a summer hedge, against walls or fences, in large containers; or—since plants self-sow to a fault—naturalize in fringe areas of the garden. Flowers and dry seed capsules are useful in arrangements. Sow seeds in place in spring; they sprout rapidly in warm soil. A number of varieties can be grown from seed.

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