Cleome spinosa (pungens) (gigantea), grows 3 to 6 feet tall and is a most interesting garden subject. The four-petaled flowers are pinkish-lavender and white and are given a peculiar, airy appearance by the long-stemmed stamens and pistils, which protrude from the flowers for several inches. The plants have a peculiar odor. The stems are more crowded with flowers than shown in the sketch.
Where to plant. Although rather coarse, Cleomes are useful for planting in beds as substitutes for shrubs or where other bold masses of ornamentals have failed. The plants are inclined to be leggy and leafless at the base so that some other annual should be planted in front of them. In a small garden two or three plants would be sufficient. The color is apt to clash with the clear pink of some other sorts, wherefore it is often best to grow the white variety. When the stems are cut, they open flowers for a week indoors. The English find them useful for conservatory decoration.
GENERAL. Sow the seed in the open ground (preferably sandy soil) when it becomes warm in the Spring. Give each plant at least 2 feet in which to develop. If the plants show an inclination to fall over they should be staked. They generally self-sow and soon take beds to the exclusion of other flowers.