Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Spider Flower, Spider Legs, Grandfather's Whiskers
Cleome houtteana 'Rose Queen'

Family: Cleomaceae
Genus: Cleome (klee-OH-me) (Info)
Species: houtteana (hoot-AH-na) (Info)
Cultivar: Rose Queen

Synonym:Cleome hassleriana
Synonym:Cleome sesquiorygalis
Synonym:Tarenaya hassleriana

2 vendors have this plant for sale.

39 members have or want this plant for trade.

View this plant in a garden


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

Not Applicable

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Pollen may cause allergic reaction

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
From seed; sow indoors before last frost
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

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There are a total of 29 photos.
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15 positives
1 neutral
2 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive themikeman On Jul 1, 2010, themikeman from Concord, NC (Zone 7a) wrote:

Rose cleome is an amazingly beautiful plant, although it is an annual, i live in rural north carolina where it is warm enough that these giant rose cleome i have, too always usually re-seed themselves ever year like a perenial. this year though was the first in eight that hardly any came back due to severe weather and snow here in march, i think most froze out. it is the rose cleome which i prize the most out of any of the other colour varieties. it gets huge!! when i was younger and didnt know what they were called I used to call them catfish flowers due to the fact that their seed pods and pod stems look like whiskers.dont know why people call'em spider flowers.LOL!!..mike.

Positive nhplanter On Nov 22, 2009, nhplanter from Washington, NH (Zone 5b) wrote:

Cleome is one of my favorite annual flowers. It self seeds readily and you will want to thin them out in the graden if they are too thick. The trick to germination indoors is cool temperatures--do not use a heating mat and keep temperatures below 60 degrees Fahrenheit in the evening if possible.

Positive kaila1952 On Nov 5, 2009, kaila1952 from Muscle Shoals, AL wrote:

I love this plant. It comes back from seed each year in my garden. I also save seed.The hummingbirds enjoy it to.

Positive RussS On Oct 13, 2009, RussS from Saint Louis, MO wrote:

Found the information very interesting.

Positive rebecca101 On Mar 14, 2008, rebecca101 from Madison, WI (Zone 5a) wrote:

Wonderful plant - easy to germinate and grow, blooms profusely (with no deadheading necessary) all summer. Tall and reasonably self-supporting (I grew these against a low fence). It germinated great for me. Seeds were sown directly in the garden early May, and it bloomed early July into October.

Positive kqcrna On Oct 15, 2007, kqcrna from Cincinnati, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

This plants has wintersown well for me for the last two years. If you have trouble germinating it inside, you might want to try wintersowing them. No nicking, soaking, or any other treatments necessary. Just plant in the milk jug in the usual wintersowing manner, place out in the snow, and in spring you have many wintersown seedlings.


Positive andycdn On Jul 6, 2007, andycdn from Ottawa, ON (Zone 5a) wrote:

This was a difficult germination. I replicated the effect of a natural seeding by alternating hot sun and cold nights, and this worked. I'm doing a large community planting and needed about 200 starter plants, and got them!

Details: I soaked the seed for two days in the paper towels/baggie method, then transferred them to ProMix in a strawberry 'clamshell' plastic container, covered about 1/4" deep. I left them outside in the sun and cold nights, and the seedlings thrived. I pricked them out into cube-packs to grow on, then planted. The seedlings started to develop buds after 10 weeks.

Positive lagasan On Mar 2, 2006, lagasan from Niskayuna, NY
United States wrote:

This plant brought the neighbors out! They all wanted to know where I got it. Several wanted to collect seeds. But most of the seeds fell to the ground. I am wondering if I am going to have a garden full of Rose Queen this summer! I hope so!

This bloomed the entire summer.

Positive JefeQuicktech On Jul 24, 2005, JefeQuicktech from Moorhead, MN (Zone 4a) wrote:

This is a finicky plant to start from seed indoors. I have tried everything to boost consistency without any success. The strange thing is that it is a great WS plant (winter sowing) and better yet, it self seeds very easily. The plants just keep coming back once you have a patch of it established.

Positive shortcm On Jul 12, 2004, shortcm from Wilmington, DE (Zone 7b) wrote:

It also comes in a deeper solid pink (almost purple), and a solid white.

Negative CatskillKarma On Jul 11, 2004, CatskillKarma from West Kill, NY wrote:

I like the way this looks, but I found it to be a rabbit magnet . The last time I grew it, it seemed to draw every rabbit for miles around and they ate a fair-sized patch of it down to the ground in preference to a very broad range of other plants. One rabbit family actually moved into the garden that year--something that hasn't happened before or since. The dog quickly took care of the rabbit problem, and I have not tried growing these since.

Positive arkieboy On Jul 10, 2004, arkieboy from Harrison, AR wrote:

This is my first year growing this plant in my garden, but it sure won't be the last. I have the pink and also the white and I'm most pleased with their performance. They are about three to four feet with massive blooms, lots of foliage and very erect and sturdy. A thunderstorm blew them down, but I just tied them up for a few days and they are now good as new. Two plants fill an 7' X 3' edged bed just right. I have planted some Speedwell in the bed also and seems to contrast well as it is quite tall and compact. I plan to try other border plants next year. To me, this is a 5 star plant and I would encourage everyone to try it.

Positive Sabrinacat On Jul 3, 2004, Sabrinacat from McLean, VA wrote:

I bought this as an annual one year. To my surprise it self seeded thereafter year after year for the third time now, in the Washington DC area. Lovely, easy, very prolific, tall but does not require staking.

Positive OhioBreezy On Jun 2, 2004, OhioBreezy from Dundee, OH (Zone 5b) wrote:

I love it!! It grows easily in nearly any soil type, and fills a nice space in the garden. If you don't mulch it will reseed heavily, so if you don't collect seed or pull before seeding time, you will have babies everywhere next year here in OH.

Neutral Monocromatico On May 27, 2003, Monocromatico from Rio de Janeiro
Brazil (Zone 11) wrote:

I find Cleome a very beautiful plant, although it can be invasive if you live in tropical areas with poor, acidic soil

Positive Debsbirds On May 26, 2003, Debsbirds wrote:

Having grown them for many years, I first obtained this plant from my grandmother's garden. Found it an excellent grower and prolific, growing new plants each year from the previous year's seed droppings. I've never started from seeds outside the garden itself. They seem to thrive in varied conditions, but do like lots of sun. They aren't particularly common in this area of East TN, but there is a mauve/white variety as well as a purple/white variety near me. Whether this is actually a different plant, or a result of soil differences, I don't know.
Also, I noted that it attracts butterflys to my garden area. Few years ago, on a trip to the Nature Center at the Land Between the Lakes on the Kentucky/Tennesse border, I noticed these plants growing in their garden on the grounds of the Center. They sell the seeds from plants they have grown, as "butterfly plants".

Only negative note was before flowering one year, a contractor thought it looked similiar to "marijiuana plant"!!! I quickly set him straight !

Negative Greenknee On Feb 2, 2003, Greenknee from Chantilly, VA (Zone 6b) wrote:

I find Cleome seed very hard to germinate - it is listed as needing light to germinate, and T&M says it also needs fluctuating temperatures.

Positive Crimson On Feb 1, 2003, Crimson from Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b) wrote:

Beautiful soft pink to medium pink. Start out medium pink and fade to light pink.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Hanceville, Alabama
Jones, Alabama
Muscle Shoals, Alabama
Harrison, Arkansas
Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas
Oak View, California
Aurora, Colorado
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Wilmington, Delaware
Jacksonville, Florida
Pomona Park, Florida
Saint Augustine, Florida
Augusta, Georgia
Carrollton, Georgia
Cherry Valley, Illinois
Chicago, Illinois
Carmel, Indiana
Derby, Kansas
Wichita, Kansas
Cumberland, Maryland
Brewster, Massachusetts
Moorhead, Minnesota
Moss Point, Mississippi
Kirksville, Missouri
Saint Louis, Missouri
Walnut Grove, Missouri
Washington, New Hampshire
Flanders, New Jersey
Ocean Grove, New Jersey
Averill Park, New York
Clifton Park, New York
Crown Point, New York
Ilion, New York
Schenectady, New York
Concord, North Carolina
Elizabeth City, North Carolina
New Bern, North Carolina
Sapphire, North Carolina
Tuxedo, North Carolina
Cincinnati, Ohio (2 reports)
Columbia Station, Ohio
Dundee, Ohio
Wren, Ohio
Hulbert, Oklahoma
Sand Springs, Oklahoma
Turner, Oregon
Warwick, Rhode Island
Hampton, South Carolina
Summerville, South Carolina
Austin, Texas
Collinsville, Texas
Mc Kinney, Texas
Rye, Texas
Mc Lean, Virginia (2 reports)
Roanoke, Virginia
Kalama, Washington
Seattle, Washington
Liberty, West Virginia
Madison, Wisconsin

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