Spider Flower Facts

Spider Flower Facts image by Ms. Tea/Flickr
Spider Flower Facts image by Ms. Tea/Flickr


Spider flowers (Cleome hasslerana) are annuals that bloom in the summer and fall. They are native to South America but are considered old-fashioned flowers for perennial beds and borders.


Spider flowers are large, sturdy plants that grow from 3 to 6 feet tall. The palmate leaves have five to seven leaflets, and the stems have spines. Some newer varieties do not have spines.


Spider flowers have claw-shaped petals and long stamens that resemble a spider. The fragrant flowers bloom in shades of purple, pink and white. The blooms begin at the lower end of the stem and continue opening to the top of the stem.


Linde Armstrong is 18 to 24 inches tall with pink flowers. Helen Campbell has pink flowers on 2- to 3-foot plants. The sparkler series grows to 3 feet, the color fountain series reaches 4 feet, and the Queen series grows to 5 feet. Spider flowers may be called Cleome spinosa in some older references.


Spider flowers grow in the sun in the moderately dry soil. They should be spaced 15 to 18 inches apart. They reseed easily in zones 8 to 11.

Pests and Diseases

Aphids, spider mites and white flies may damage the leaves and blooms of spider flowers. The plants are susceptible to downy or powdery mildew, fungal spots and rust.


  • Plant Care
  • Michigan State University

Who Can Help

  • Cleome "Sparkler Blush"
  • Cleome hassleriana
Keywords: Spider Flower, Cleome hassleriana, Cleome spinosa, Cleome

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: Ms. Tea/Flickr