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Cleomes are half-hardy annuals native to the grasslands of South America. They flower over a long season and look fantastic in a mixed ornamental border, growing alongside dahlias and tall annuals such as cosmos and amaranthus. Their common name, spider flower, refers to the extraordinarily long stamens protruding from the large scented flowers – both these and the long seed pods later in the season give the flowers a spidery appearance. Cleomes make excellent cut flowers.
For best results grow cleomes in a free-draining soil in full sun. They're drought tolerant, so don't need much cossetting after they've passed the young plant stage. However, they are hard to grow from seed so it's best to buy them as young plants in late spring. Unlike other cleomes, Cleome 'Senorita Rosalita' doesn't have spines and the lavender-blue flowers are borne all over the plant, not just at the top.
Cultivar: 'Senorita Rosalita'
Plant type: Half-hardy annual
Flower colour: Mixed
Foliage colour: Mid-green
Sun exposure: Full sun
Soil: Well-drained/light, Moist
Hardiness: Half hardy
Skill level: Experienced
Time to plant seeds: March to May
Flowering period: July to September
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