Cleome "Violet Queen" stands out against rudbeccia and cannas in my garden--

This plant reminds me of my Kentucky Grandmother.  Tall, stong and straight-backed,  she raised 5 kids, hung her wash neatly, and always paid her bills on time.  Cleome is just as tough and dependable. 

Latin name: Cleome hassleriana

Common name: Spider flower

A fixture in Southern gardens for over 150 years, cleome originated in Central and South America which means it loves our heat.  The humid nights that take down so many plants only make cleome stronger.  The hot, dry days are its element.  Cleome is drought tolerant, sends down deep roots, and throws lots of seed around for next year.   Once you have cleome, you will always have seedlings to transplant. 

Best planted en mass, it’s showy, interesting and asks for very little–except a little sun and some space. 

 It’s tall–3-4 feet in a good year.  And I love tall plants.  Plus cleome reminds me of grandma–

I used to nap in the grass under her big, wild spider flowers.  They still make me feel a little lazy,  satisfied and drunk on  too much fried chicken and chocolate pie.   It’s a southern thing–Cleome.