Cleome (Cleome hassleriana) Mixed Colors - Butterfly Host and Nectar Plant

Shady Oak Butterfly Farm



Cleome hassleriana

Also known as: Spider Flower, Spider Plant, Cleome spinosa

Plant Type: Annual

Zones: 2-11

Height: 3-5 ft.

Plant Spacing: 12 in.

Light Requirements: Partial shade to full sun

Water Requirements: Medium

Soil Requirements: Grows best in well-drained soil

Host Plant For: Great Southern White, Cabbage White, and Checkered White butterflies

Starter Plants are not large enough to feed larvae.

One 4" potted plant will feed 2 larvae.


Cleome hassleriana is an annual plant native to South America. Fast-growing, it can reach up to 5 feet in height during one season. Its pink, purple, and white flower clusters are thought to resemble spider’s legs, thus earning it the common name Spider Flower. Blooming season is from spring to fall. Cleome has sharp spines along its stems, so be careful when handling!

Great Southern White, Cabbage White, and Checkered White butterflies all use Cleome as one of their host plants. Look for tiny white eggs on leaves and green larvae on leaves and stems. The blooms are a favorite nectar source for hummingbirds, butterflies, bees, and other insects. Plant Cleome in your garden to enjoy the colorful blooms and attract visitors to your yard this year!


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A few of the butterflies and moths we raise at Shady Oak Butterfly Farm