Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Cleome hasslerana, Spider Flower

Cleome hasslerana Spider Flower
Cleomes are one of those tall growing summer flowers which can be a bit disappointing if you want a flower which maintains the delicate spidery appearance as in the photo above. Most of the time, the tissue paper fine petals are wilted by the sun and the whole plant seems to droop.Added to this, the stems and maple like leaves are armed with thorns and prickles which catch you as soon as you go near it. To its credit ,Cleome flowers when seen early morning are beautiful and come in a range of colours from a pure white to a deep maroon purple. After flowering, the resulting seed pods are also decorative and given the right conditions it will self-seed and return each year.
Cleome growing in a lakeside temple garden in Bali
2017 update: A perennial form has been introduced which is smaller and more compact in habit but I have yet to try growing it.

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