Tag Archives: #selfseeded #moongarden

Cleome “White Queen”

27 Jul

For my “White/Chartreuse Moon Garden,” I searched all over the area for the tall Cleome, “White Queen”.

Cleome hassleriana White Queen

“Clusters of large white blooms show off against the dark green leaves below and add sparkle to every other color in the garden.  This beauty blooms without pause, beginning in late June here and continuing until frost.  It produces large, globe-shaped flower heads composed of amazingly delicate, spidery blooms.  It is tough and vigorous, smiling through heat and drought in every corner of the country.  It can be used as a backbone plant in a mixed border, and is a constant companion in the cottage garden.”  (Quote from White Flower Farm)

Cleome “White Queen”


White Queen was an important part of my Moon Garden last summer.  For this year’s garden, I started looking in May.  I tried 5-6 sources, but couldn’t get my hands on any.

Then crazy luck.  I think it was July 4th holiday weekend.  Driving around, late afternoon stop at a garden center to peruse their nearly sold out annual rack.  One unlabeled 6 pack, bone dry, nondescript, almost weedy appearance.

I recognized the structure and leaves as tall cleome.  Studying it really closely, one tiny solitary bud looked white.  The other tiniest buds in the 6 pack looked pink & violet.   I figured it was a Queen Mix and hopefully had at least one white cleome!   Fingers crossed, this would be too good crazy luck.  I had to take home this incredibly far flung, promising, unlabeled, neglectedly dry 6-pack.

Immediate water to help them & consider locations for potential pink/violet colors I don’t need in White/Chartreuse Moon Garden.   Popped in the ground and within a few days, grew taller and stronger and revealed, yes. . . guess what?!?!  YES, score!   One white tall cleome, here she is, 4 times the size when I found her.

Growing strong

If you look closely at the ground in above photo, you can see the additional twist to the story.    In the bit of space I cleared to plant her, same as last year,  I noticed the tiniest green sprouts in the area.   As days passed and White Queen got stronger, I watched the tiny sprouts nearby developing tiny leaves the similar shape as bigger White Queen.   Hey, wait a second… this could be really amusing.   I gave the tiny spouts some water, diluted fertilizer and watched.   Days went by and I was curious if all the sprouts would crowd each other out or be too weak.   Last fall, when the Cleome flowers were done and I put the garden to bed for winter, I noticed some dried seed pods opened.   Similarly, I took all the seed pods I could find and also sprinkled them like nature would do.  These seedlings were going to be tall white cleome!  The tiny seeds had unexpectedly sprouted.

Self-seeded Cleome getting taller and even flowering

A month ago I barely had ONE white cleome, now these little ones appeared from last year’s seeds.   Lots of them!   Over the weekend I marveled at the appearance of one, only 1/5th height of the big one and already flowering.  (little one is lower right corner)

White Queen cleome (center) with little self-seeded White Queens (left & right) and lower right, one already showing flowers!

close-up of self seeded Cleome flowering (quickly!)


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