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Cleome 'Senorita Rosalita'

Meet a cleome that withstands hot Texas summers

I have always loved the way cleome looks in catalogs and in gardens I’ve visited across the nation, but to tell you the truth, I haven’t had that much luck with it here in Texas. Every variety I’ve trialed in the last five years has disappointed me. Even though the plants flowered beautifully in spring, the flowers stopped and the bottom leaves fell off as soon as the temperatures rose over 100 degrees. By the end of the summer, a bed of tall, gangly plants with few leaves and a lot of seeds confronted me. Oh, and did I mention the thorns? Those spindly little stalks had wicked rose-like thorns hiding out in them!

Then I invited Cleome ‘Senorita Rosalita’ to join the party and she out-flowered all the competition. Unlike other varieties, this cultivar flowers from late spring through the heat of summer and right up until fall. Another great attribute of this variety is it doesn’t set seed, so there is no dead-heading! The dark-green foliage forms 3- to 5-foot upright mounds in the garden that are continually crowned with clusters of bright lavender-pink blooms, and there are no thorns!

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