Spider Flower Fast Facts

Spider Flower Fast Facts image by thisisbossi/Flickr, Carl E. Lewis/Flickr
Spider Flower Fast Facts image by thisisbossi/Flickr, Carl E. Lewis/Flickr

Overview

Spider flowers (Cleome hassleriana) are old-fashioned annuals with unusual blooms of white, pink, rose or lavender. The long stamens and clawed petals of the flowers resemble spiders, giving the plant its common name.

Description

Spider flowers are large, sturdy plants, ranging from 3 to 6 feet tall and 1 1/2 to 3 feet wide. The fragrant flowers are 1 to 2 inches across with stamens of 2 to 3 inches. The palmate leaves have five to seven leaflets.

Pink spider flower

Features

Spider flowers are native to South America. They grow fast and have stout taproots that anchor the plants so they do not need staking. The flowers bloom from the lower end of the stem to the top, and are followed by slender seed pods.

Varieties

The Queen series of spider flowers are large plants, up to 5 feet tall, with pink or rose flowers. The Sparkler series is smaller, only 3 feet tall, with flowers of white, rose or pink.

Growing Conditions

Spider flowers prefer full sun but will grow in any type of soil. Once established, spider flowers are heat- and drought-tolerant. In Zones 4 to 7, spider flowers are treated as tender annuals. They are annuals in Zones 8 to 11, but reseed easily.

Pests and Diseases

Spider flowers are fairly trouble-free. They may be affected by fungal spots or mildews. Aphids, spider mites or whiteflies may damage the leaves and flowers.

References

  • Michigan State University Extension
  • University of Vermont

Who Can Help

  • Cleome hassleriana (Floridata)
  • Spider Flower (University of Illinois Extension)
Keywords: spider flower, annuals, Cleome hassleriana

About this Author

Melody Lee began working as a reporter and copywriter for the "Jasper News" in 2004 and was promoted to editor in 2005. She also edits magazine articles and books. Lee holds a degree in landscape design, is a Florida Master Gardener, and has more than 25 years of gardening experience.

Photo by: thisisbossi/Flickr, Carl E. Lewis/Flickr