Cleome / Spiderflower
Common Name: Spiderflower
The flowers of this native, annual plant produce copious amounts of nectar which attracts many bees, giving one of the most abundant species, “Rocky Mountain bee plant,” its common name.
Throughout most of the United States and Canada, except the southeast
Several species are routinely available
Dry to average
Cleome surrulata (Rocky Mountain bee plant) is the most widespread and commercially available North American native Cleome species. It is native to most regions of Canada and the United States, except the southeast. This 4 foot tall annual can be propagated by seed and prefers dry, well-drained sites. Rocky Mountain bee plant, as its name suggests, produces nectar-rich pink or white flower spikes July through September, which attract a wide spectrum of native bees. It is also a larval host for the checkered white butterfly.
Cleome lutea (yellow spiderflower, yellow beeplant), the western species, is known to occur in arid to semi-arid regions from the central Great Plains to Washington and south to California and New Mexico. This 3 foot tall annual produces abundant yellow flowers May through August and reseeds easily to form sizable colonies. While yellow spiderflower is known to attract hundreds of species of native bees in the wild, seeds for this plant may only be available through native plant seed sources such as the Native Seed Network.