If you are looking for a large scale plant that can tolerate a drought, resist deer and other pests, blooms until late summer and then reseeds itself, then Cleome may be the plant for you. Cleome is a large scale flower that can reach 6’ in a good season. Their blooms come in different shades of pink ranging from deep magenta to almost white. As the flower matures it will generally have three shades of pink on it at a single time. The flowers grow in clusters that grow up the stalk as the plant matures. As the flowers move up the stalk, they leave behind very long and slender seed pods that give the plant its common; spider plant. These slender seed pods also contain and deploy the seeds that allow Cleome to reseed its self year after year.
Cleome’s large stature and large colorful flower heads allows it to be used in mass as a lovely stand alone. However, because of it sheer size, it is one of the few annual flowers that pairs very well with established shrubs. Cleome works fairly well as a cut flower. However, the plant emits a very strong musky scent that reminds me of citronella. Some find it unpleasant. Many feel the scent resembles marijuana plants as they grow.