Cleome, Spider Flower, Spider Legs, Grandfather's Whiskers 'Rose Queen'

Cleome houtteana

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
View this plant in a garden



Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun



Foliage Color:




36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


Not Applicable

Where to Grow:

Suitable for growing in containers


Pollen may cause allergic reaction

Bloom Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

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


This plant is said to grow outdoors 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

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


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.


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.


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.


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

Found the information very interesting.


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.


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.



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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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 th... read more


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.


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.