Cleome

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I have a two basic requirements when it comes to what gets planted in the very limited space that makes up my garden. The number one requirement is size. The plant has to be able to grow 3 feet or higher. My second requirement is toughness. The plant has to be able to negotiate the jungle and survive on its own. No pansies, petunias, or any of those kind of plants ever gets planted in my garden because they're too boring. IMHO, they're like the little yap yap dog that looks cute but can't do anything useful but eat and poop. I want plants that get big so all summer I can sit back and referee the war that ensues as they all vie for territory.
Anyway, this spring I went for the first time to this one nursery here in Chicago around Rogers Park and they had a huge selection of different plants. I stumbled upon Cleome and the tag said it grew to 4' so I bought a six pack of seedlings and in the pots they went. So far these plants have gotten huge and each one has 3 or 4 different flower clusters and they keep getting bigger and bigger and there are plenty of growing months left this year. So, for me, I award my plant of the year to Cleome. It has practically taken over my garden although no plant can beat the towering sunflowers. Here's a pic of my Cleome:
http://www.brandylion.com/gallery/Garden2005/120_2023
BTW: The leaves on this plant actually look like cannabis leaves so I wonder if the two plant are related.
Does anyone know of other annual or perennial flowers that get this big?
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You'll be happy to know that cleome is a plant that you only have to buy once. It will reseed itself and return year after year. Another plant to add to you list of tall, tough plants for your annual garden (or perennial garden if you are in zone 7 or higher) is the cannas. Most get 4 to 8 feet tall, require no attention, thrive in most any soil, and will bloom in part sun to full sun. If you only want the foliage, which can be striking, it is also a choice for partial shade. They are also good for large containers. http://groups.msn.com/laurelridgegardens/cannas2000.msnw?Page=1
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Mark Anderson wrote:

If those are California poppies on your rooftop garden be careful they self seed all over the place. Can you walk on your roof without causing leaks?
--

Travis in Shoreline (just North of Seattle) Washington
USDA Zone 8
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In article snipped-for-privacy@internet.invalid says...

Although the California poppies may seed all over, they have to compete with all the other wildflowers which keeps them in check. They have problems because they don't grow that big and tend to get smothered by the other plants as the summer progresses. If a bunch of them can establish a beachhead then they make it.
The roofs are rubber which is pretty durable and for the mid level roof top I had the joists reinforced to interior bathroom standards, 2x12s spanning 10 feet, 16" oc, so it can hold a lot of weight -- even in the middle of the span. To protect the rubber roof I laid another layer of rubber material over that. Where people walk I put a layer of foam matting, those 2'x2' interlocking squares, and then there's an outdoor carpet over that to protect the foam. So far, 3 years later there hasn't been any leaks (knock on wood). On the main roof which I started this year, I just laid an extra layer of rubber material where the planters are and placed the planters on wood so that the weight of the planters don't melt them through the roof during hot days. That rooftop isn't reinforced so the planters can only be placed next to a wall where the stress on the beams is mostly shear instead of deflection. The shear strength of those beams is more than enough to support each planter which holds 3 cubic feet of dirt. I only go up on that rooftop once a day to water and check the plants and I have to be careful when walking on the raw roof material.
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well you seem to have the white ones. There are deep rose colored ones, bright pink, and pinkish purple and a darker purple one as well. You can always get seeds for cheap in the spring. They're known by the common names of Spider flowers (the threads that hold the seed pods) and as "Cat's Whiskers". You will have them from now on popping up in every container and place where the seeds have fallen. They are so small they sun germinate and usually show themselves around the end of April here in Eastern Tennessee.
No, they're not related to Cannabis. Cannabis doesn't have THORNS! Cleome do. Cleome SPINOSA, told the local cops who came up our driveway one night after a speeder who wound up in our driveway (dead end road) when he was eyeballing the four foot plants to go ahead and grab one and yank it up. As he wrapped his beefy hands around the central stalk, he let go of it and hollered good. Those little spines bite pretty well.....he then remarked that "marijuana ain't got spines!" I just smiled and said, yer right officer, those are my flowers............they just LOOK like pot!

Cannabis is Cannabis Sativa or Cannabis Indica, Cleome are Cleome Spinosa as far as I know......period (I'll look up the name tomorrow)

Castor Bean plants. With the right soil, and start the seeds early enough, can get to 15 foot. Some Canna's (mine and others) have them grow 12 foot. I have Joe Pye that is past the gutters by August. Helianthus gets around 8 foot. Kuggle Sonne Helopsis is gutter high........Jeruselum sunflowers are usually 10 foot. Then there's Iron Weed. It gets around 9 foot. Swamp sunflower is about 8 foot. Zebra Grass averages about 7 foot once established. And I've seen Pampas grass as high as 11 foot (Alabama where it's wild)
There are plenty of tall plants. I think that you wouldn't have a problem finding them if you like them large. (my Blue Egnima is a pigmy at 6 foot! compared to the other tall plants I have.Oh yeah, some asters get about 5 foot or so........give me time and I'll have a better list for you........
madgardener up on the ridge, back in Fairy Holler overlooking English Mountain in Eastern Tennessee, zone 7, Sunset zone 36 (by the way, canna's in Chicago won't winter over, unless you see some planted in yards that have survived your winters)

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In article snipped-for-privacy@vic.com says...

LOL. I noticed the thorns as well. Since these plants have gotten so big I can't water and weed certain areas without rubbing against them and they scratched my arm. I like a plant that has attitude!
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All plants are related, but Cleome and Cannabis aren't particularly closely related. Cleome is in Capparaceae in Capparales aka Brassicales in Eurosids II; Cannabis is in Cannabaceae in Rosales in Eurosids I. Cleome is closer to mallow and maple than to cannabis; cannabis is closer to rose and elm than to Cleome.
--
Stewart Robert Hinsley

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thanks Stewart! once again you've educated me and proven once more that I learn something new every day and still want to go to college to learn more about Horticulture! REALLY!! I'm being serious. I liked this so well, I sent it to myself so I'd be able to put it into my garden journal. Now if I could only identify the fern I brought with me from my house in Nashville 13 years ago that has adapted itself to direct sunlight of south and western exposure that I've nicknamed my "Stainless steal, cast iron Nashville walking fern" because it's tenacity towards sunlight and toughness, and that it sends out "toes" for the next year's ferns to rise from, hense the name "walking fern" I have pictures...............but you'd have to e-mail me to see them. I don't post here anymore and apparently my posted pictures on the newsgroup that allows pictures gets no responses either..... madgardener
writes

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writes

Then you may be interested in
http://www.mobot.org/MOBOT/Research/APweb /
which is the nearest thing to the last word in flowering plant classification that you'll find in one place.
--
Stewart Robert Hinsley

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I would be interested to see what CV says about this site. Is it any good, Steve?
--
Ann, gardening in Zone 6a
South of Boston, Massachusetts
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madgardener wrote:

Madgardener
The last time you said you were going to post pictures to the binary group you misspelled the group name so that may explain the lack of responses. The group is "alt.binaries.pictures.gardens" without the quote marks.
Please try again.
--

Travis in Shoreline (just North of Seattle) Washington
USDA Zone 8
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I posted the flamingo in the fig picture over in alt.binaries.pictures.gardens. been subscribed to it now for six years just don't post there much. send my pictures to those who want them sent to them now. m.
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madgardener wrote:

The pic hasn't shown up in the pix group yet. Maybe it will be there in the morning.
My address is travis dot shoreline at gmail dot com.
--

Travis in Shoreline Washington


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madgardener wrote:

You picture still has not shown up in alt.binaries.pictures.gardens.
--

Travis in Shoreline (just North of Seattle) Washington
USDA Zone 8
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Not there as of 5:45 pm Tuesday :o(
--
Ann, gardening in Zone 6a
South of Boston, Massachusetts
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Ann wrote:

Still not here as of 12:10am Wednesday July the 13th.
--

Travis in Shoreline (just North of Seattle) Washington
USDA Zone 8
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Travis wrote:

Still not here as of 10:12am Wednesday July the 13th.
--

Travis in Shoreline (just North of Seattle) Washington
USDA Zone 8
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Travis wrote:

Still have not seen the Flamingo in the Fig picture as of 12:07am Thursday July the 14th.
--

Travis in Shoreline (just North of Seattle) Washington
USDA Zone 8
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Travis wrote:

Thursday afternoon the picture has not shown up.
--

Travis in Shoreline (just North of Seattle) Washington
USDA Zone 8
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Mark Anderson Wrote:

Last years' Cleome got to be almost 5 1/2 feet tall including thei flower heads. Their a keeper (whether you want them or not!) Photo http://tinyurl.com/dxpqs
Mark Anderson Wrote:

Another one you might try is a flowering tobacco (Nicotiana sylvestris - Annual - Zone 8-11. It grows to 5 feet tall with large leaves at th base and white pedulous flowers each up to 9 inches - smells great i the evening and self seeds (every where!) Photo http://tinyurl.com/8jtdn (Top-center, pale green leaves/white flowers - holding it's own besid the cleome.)
If your friends have one - get some seeds for next year.
Enjoy
-- LavenderBee
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