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Cleome hirta

Cleome hirta
sticky purple cleome
Cleome hirta
Long seedpods – they will burst open after they turn brown

Common name sticky purple cleome
Family cleomaceae
Life cycle annual
Flowers pink
Size 18-24"
Light sun

Pink flowers with striking yellow markings on this annual. It's a completely different look from the more commonly grown C. houtteana, with its large divided (some say hemp-like) leaves and splayed-open large-petaled pure-pink flowers. I suspect it would look rather nice in a dense planting, something we didn't achieve in our first attempt, where only a few seedlings survived. So I was hoping for plenty of volunteers in the vicinity in springtime. Alas, the offspring was limited to two plants, which started blooming nicely enough in early August, but no dazzle display. As the season progressed into October, though, these two plants grew larger than the ones from the previous year, making much more of a statement in the border, as shown in the photo below. More seeds to drop, too, so I'm once again curious about next year's stand.

sticky purple cleome
Reaching a more impressive stature by early October.
Cleome hirta
Late May: a nice forest of seedlings where last year's plants grew

In our garden, this plant grows in the following area: left fence border

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Seed-starting details for this plant

  1. Seed from '13 trade. Baggy 70F (18d) -35F (19d) - 70F (6%G, 4-18d)
  2. Seed from NARGS '19/'20 exchange. Direct to pot outdoors mid-March. Good germination by two weeks later
  3. Same seed as above. Baggy 70F (13%G, 11-21d). No seedling development

Direct-seeding to pot seems like the way to go.

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