General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Herb/Forb
Life cycle: Annual
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Water Preferences: Mesic
Dry Mesic
Plant Height: 36-48 inches
Plant Spread: 18-24 inches
Leaves: Fragrant
Other: Plant has spines
Fruit: Dehiscent
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: Lavender
Flower Time: Late spring or early summer
Late summer or early fall
Uses: Cut Flower
Will Naturalize
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Resistances: Drought tolerant
Propagation: Seeds: Stratify seeds: if starting indoors
Sow in situ
Miscellaneous: With thorns/spines/prickles/teeth

Common names
  • Spider Flower
  • Grandfather's Whiskers
  • Spider Legs
Botanical names
  • Accepted: Tarenaya hassleriana
  • Synonym: Cleome hassleriana

This plant is tagged in:

  • Posted by Catmint20906 (PNW WA half hour south of Olympia - Zone 8a) on Aug 27, 2014 8:23 PM concerning plant:
    Spider Flower (Tarenaya hassleriana) grew in my garden two years ago as a volunteer. The profuse blooms were very attractive, and the two volunteer plants grew to over 5 feet high. Unfortunately, the taller and wider around they got, the more difficult it became to remove their many, constantly multiplying seed pods. Each flower head would sprout a dozen or so seed pods, and each pod contained about a zillion seeds. Removing the pods was complicated by the fact that Cleome (at least the Cleome that volunteered in my garden) can be quite thorny. The wider the two plants got, the harder it was to reach into the foliage to get all the seed pods without getting stuck in the arms and chest by thorns. At the end of the season, I donned gloves and took my loppers, chopped both the plants down at their trunk-like bases, and dragged them to the trash on plastic. Last year I found a couple more growing as volunteers, and I removed them while they were still babies, fearing the thorns. This year, however, I let one of the volunteers grow and it has pleasantly surprised me by being considerably less thorny. In its less thorny state, I have been enjoying it.
  • Posted by robertduval14 (Milford, New Hampshire - Zone 5b) on Mar 7, 2013 9:10 PM concerning plant:
    I find them very pretty, but a bit invasive. If you need to pull unwanted volunteers, I would suggest you wear gloves. They are quite the thorny little suckers.
  • Posted by krobra (Woodbridge , Va - Zone 7a) on Jun 23, 2017 1:44 AM concerning plant:
    Spider Flower (Tarenaya hassleriana) is a butterfly host plant for the Great Southern White, Cabbage White, and Checkered White butterflies.

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