We started this from seed once, many years ago (of the 'Violet queen' cultivar), and have a permanent supply now. Seedlings show up by late spring, and are easy to recognize. The bright green hand-shaped foliage is attractive, and grows up quickly; the flowers start early summer. Seeds form in long spidery tubes, and shoot out all over the place. Since this is a tall plant, we have to make sure to weed out the ones that come up near the front of the border.
|ordinary garden soil
|self-seeds in our garden
This plant used to grow in our garden, but it slipped away...
About my plant portraits
PlantLinks to other web pages about Cleome houtteana
Visitors to this page have left the following comments
|Apr 24, 2008
|There is something in the back yard that a "Master Gardner" said was marijuana. I said no. it was something else. From the pictures I have waded through, I think it's this, Cleome hassleriana. Thanks to your web site I feel comfortable allowing it to stay.
|Aug 23, 2008
|It smells like marijuana, too. I had it in my car for an hour while I ran errands after purchasing at a farmers market and when I returned I couldn't believe the odor. Not a very aromatic plant, but I'm still going to plant them.
|May 14, 2009
|The cleome stem is like that of roses or thistles - thorny. Marijuana does not have these spines/spikes
|Jul 31, 2009
|No offence but you people have obviously never seen or smelled marijuana!
|Jul 25, 2010
|i have this plant growing by my basement door. i have no idea how it got there, because i didnt plant it, but me and my neighbor BOTH thought it was pot. it looks just like it, and, trust me, being a stoner myself, it DOES smell just like marijuana. Im kinda relieved though that is not pot, but kinda disappointed cuz i wanted to smoke it.
|Jul 27, 2010
|OMG, found this growing in my yard and thought for sure it had sprung up from something my teenage son threw down-I took great pains to move it to a private area of the garden and nurse along. It certainly smells like weed! Oh well, it was fun while it lasted.
|Dec 12, 2010
|I live in a retirement village and the lawn mowing contractor thought I was growing marijuana!!!! What a laugh. I told him all us oldies were going to have a pot party!!!!
|May 17, 2011
|Someone just gave me some seedlings, and your site was a great identifier of how they would look when they "grew up." Thank you!
|Jun 29, 2011
|I now live in an apartment and have two huge plantars with Cleome on my balcony. I have printed this page with photos should the local police come knocking at my door. Ha!!
|neighbor in the north
|Jul 23, 2011
|Thanks to this site! Just had a very similar experience! Cant wait to see it flowering!
|Jul 26, 2011
|thanks for the website! I honestly thought it was a marijuana plant because the neighbors grow it! lol! However, from your photos... this would be the little culprit! cant wait for it to bloom!
|Sep 27, 2011
|Great site! Beautiful pictures! Thanks to you I can continue playing my Bob Marley music and don't have to dig up my Cleome that everyone is sure is marijuana. Until it flowers I will continue to revel in my newly acquired status as a very hip retiree.
|May 05, 2013
|A friend sent me your site when I posted a photo on Facebook asking if anyone knew anything about it....I also thought that its leaves looked like marijuana! I also thi k that they smell terrible...I cut some of the seed pods off hopefully I can dry them and replant them!
|May 17, 2013
|Omg i thought it was marijuana too. Hope no one cares because I dont want people comin to me saying what is that. And i have to keep saying Cloeme
|Jodie of Eugene
|Jul 04, 2013
|My mother's garden always had cleomes, however our farm was located in a small vale between two mountains and was always a bit cooler than areas around us. We think this is why her flower gardens were always a bit on the immature side of growth - nights were always on the cool side, even in high summer. So her cleomes never grew more than three feet tall. The first summer I grew cleomes in my own garden (thirty miles away from my family homestead and "in town") these flowers grew six feet tall and developed incredible thorns once the plants had bloomed and were mature. Just prior to my cleomes blooming that first year, I noticed an incredibly strong smell - very similar to marijuana. I wandered all over the area trying to locate where the scent was coming from before finally realizing it was the cleome plant! Touching the leaves of the plant confirmed what my nose had told me as they were exuding an oil that was definitely similar to a cannabis-like oil. As the blooms began to open, thankfully, this very strong smell faded and the oil production from the leaves seemed to dry up somewhat. At least, by the end of the growing season, all I had to contend with were the thorns and not so much of the oils being left on my hands as I cut them for bouquets and then finally down for seed harvest in the late fall. I'm still researching how these two plants may be related... We've no doubt they are in some way, shape or form and will continue growing and enjoying their mystery!
|hi from maryland
|Oct 16, 2014
|my friend had these plants growing in her flower pot she thought it was pot so she started pulling them out due to she thought someone set her up i grabed one and thought it was so what i do is replant it i saw these pink flowers and look at it i can smell it all over and love the smell yes it smells like pot only diffrent is steam its stright pot plant has lines in bed in steam pot plants will have ball at end at bottom male think will have white hairs with long steam and female have red hairs so thats way u can tell if its pot i was foled not like i would smoke it are sale it think it smelled good now got pretty want a be pot smell plant i love it i hope it dose grow all over pink i love she came home to right place
|Mar 05, 2016
|Will Foward the email lot l just wrote
It's an African delicacy ...it's an edible flower ... Oh !!!when fresh and not dried the those leaves and young stem .. Most from my area we bring it overseas but dried ... Am so glad l just saw the top pick of the flowers l said this is .. ULude ... In Ndebele Zimbabwean Or Nyovi in Kalanga tribes..
|Feb 12, 2017
|I am always so intrigued by this plant. Every summer we grow them in pots in my backyard. And for the last couple of summers I couldn't help but notice just how close the resemblance to cannabis it has. Besides budding beautiful flowers that range from pink to purple, it has an unmistakable scent that even my parents can't deny - definitely smells like weed. So, I of course enjoy this scent emanating from my backyard all summer. Go outside and take a good sniff. It is actually calming for me. But I do find it funny how it not only smells like it, but looks like it too. Only difference between the same-shaped leaves is Cannabis has 5 ends and Cleome has 7. Very interesting, and I do plan to find out more about why this happens to be.
|Aug 19, 2017
|Some of my cleome have 5 ends and they aren't Cannabis.
You sure there's not a leaf-pinching prankster around?
|Jul 02, 2018
|Someone @ my school left seeds for people to take so I took these never knew what they were. Last summer when it grew my daughter was like mom what are you growing in the garden. I just finally found out today what it was. My husband thinks I'm some closet marijuana grower lol. I keep joking around with him about it. Itâ€™s the running joke in our house lol . I just sent him the page and said I finally figured out what our mysterious Plant was and he said yea pot and I was like nope it's this lol .
|Aug 31, 2018
|Just found this in my garden. I never knew a plant like this existed itâ€™s almost identicle and smells the same as marijuana. Even the way it starts to flower is what bud does
|Jul 24, 2019
|Found this plant growing wild and it smelled just like marijuana. I transplanted it to a flower pot and it grew. Then cam the lovely flowers. Iâ€™m in my 60â€™s and wanted to see if it was really pot. It smelled like it but the flowers were different. I came across your page and had my answer. Itâ€™s almost identical to marijuana.
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