Madge Ivie

Written by Madge Ivie

Modified & Updated: 18 May 2024

Sherman Smith

Reviewed by Sherman Smith


Cleome, also known as spider flower, is a fascinating and enchanting plant that captures the attention and curiosity of plant enthusiasts and gardeners alike. This unique flowering plant belongs to the Cleomaceae family and is native to regions of South America and Africa.

Cleome is not your average garden flower – it possesses a remarkable set of characteristics that make it truly intriguing. From its tall, spidery blooms to its distinct fragrance, Cleome stands out among other plants in the garden. Whether you are a seasoned gardener or simply have a love for all things botanical, you will be captivated by these 15 intriguing facts about Cleome.

Key Takeaways:

  • Cleome, also known as spider flower, is a vibrant and easy-to-grow plant that attracts butterflies and bees. Its edible seeds and long blooming period make it a delightful addition to any garden.
  • Cleome, with its palmate leaves and various flower colors, symbolizes good luck and is resistant to deer and rabbits. It is also used in traditional medicine and herbal tea, making it a versatile and beneficial plant.
Table of Contents

Cleome belongs to the Cleomaceae family

Cleome, also known as spider flower, is a flowering plant that belongs to the Cleomaceae family, which encompasses over 170 species.

Cleome flowers attract butterflies and bees

The vibrant and fragrant flowers of Cleome have the ability to attract butterflies and bees, making them an excellent addition to any pollinator-friendly garden.

Cleome flowers come in various colors

Cleome flowers can be found in a wide range of colors, including pink, purple, white, and even bi-color varieties. This diversity adds a beautiful touch to any garden.

Cleome plants are easy to grow

Cleome plants are known for their easy cultivation. They thrive in well-drained soil and require full sunlight to grow to their full potential.

Cleome is a fast-growing annual

Cleome is an annual flowering plant, meaning it completes its lifecycle in just one year. However, it often self-seeds, allowing it to appear year after year in the garden.

Cleome leaves are palmate

The unique leaves of Cleome are palmate, meaning they resemble an open hand with several lobes. This distinctive feature adds to the plant’s overall appeal.

Cleome is commonly used in traditional medicine

Throughout history, Cleome has been utilized in traditional medicine for its various beneficial properties. It is believed to possess anti-inflammatory and diuretic qualities.

Cleome symbolizes good luck

In some cultures, Cleome is considered a symbol of good luck and is often included in weddings and other celebrations to bring fortune and positive energy.

Cleome seeds are edible

The seeds of Cleome plants are not only ornamental but also edible. They can be harvested and used in various culinary creations, adding a unique and nutty flavor.

Cleome is resistant to deer and rabbits

Cleome plants have a natural resistance to deer and rabbits, making them a great choice for gardeners who face challenges with these common garden pests.

Cleome is used in companion planting

Cleome is often used in companion planting to help deter pests and attract beneficial insects that can help protect other plants in the garden.

Cleome has medicinal qualities

Aside from its traditional medicinal uses, Cleome is also believed to have antimicrobial and anticancer properties, making it a subject of ongoing research.

Cleome has a long blooming period

Cleome plants typically have a long blooming period, providing a burst of color in the garden from late spring to late summer.

Cleome is drought-tolerant

Cleome plants have adapted to survive in dry conditions, making them a resilient and drought-tolerant choice for gardeners in arid climates.

Cleome is used in herbal tea

The leaves and flowers of Cleome can be dried and used to make a flavorful and aromatic herbal tea, which is known for its calming and relaxing properties.


Cleome is a fascinating plant that enthralls both gardeners and botany enthusiasts alike. With its unique characteristics and stunning appearance, it adds a touch of intrigue to any garden or landscape. From its historical significance to its medicinal properties, Cleome never fails to captivate our curiosity.

Whether you’re a gardening enthusiast looking to add an exotic touch to your outdoor space or simply interested in learning more about the world of plants, Cleome is a topic worth exploring. Its rich history, diverse species, and noteworthy qualities make it a plant that stands out from the rest. So, next time you come across Cleome, take a moment to appreciate its beauty and remember these intriguing facts.


What is Cleome?

Cleome, also known as spider flower or bee plant, is a genus of flowering plants native to tropical and subtropical regions.

How tall do Cleome plants grow?

Cleome plants can grow anywhere between 2 to 6 feet in height, depending on the species and growing conditions.

What colors do Cleome flowers come in?

Cleome flowers come in a range of colors, including white, pink, purple, and even bi-colors. Some varieties may also have striped petals.

When is the best time to plant Cleome?

Cleome seeds can be sown directly in the garden after the last frost date in spring. They require warm soil to germinate and thrive.

Can Cleome be grown in containers?

Yes, Cleome can be grown in containers, provided the container is large enough to accommodate its growth and has proper drainage.

Do Cleome plants attract bees and butterflies?

Yes, Cleome plants are known to attract bees, butterflies, and other pollinators, making them a great addition to pollinator-friendly gardens.

Are Cleome plants easy to care for?

Cleome plants are relatively easy to care for. They prefer full sun, well-draining soil, and regular watering. Deadheading spent flowers can promote continuous blooming.

Can Cleome be propagated from cuttings?

While Cleome can be propagated from cuttings, it is more commonly grown from seeds as they germinate easily and produce vigorous plants.

Are Cleome plants deer resistant?

Yes, Cleome plants are generally considered deer resistant due to their pungent foliage, although deer may occasionally nibble on them if there is limited food available.

Do Cleome plants have any medicinal properties?

Yes, some species of Cleome, such as Cleome gynandra, have traditional medicinal uses and are known for their antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

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