Cleome hassleriana Chodat

Spider Flower

Annual herb growing 1-2 m tall, strong-smelling. Leaves compound, palmate with pairs of spines at the base; leaflets 5-7 with long-pointed tips. Flowers in racemes, generally opening dark pink but rapidly fading to almost white; stamens 6-8 cm long; summer. Fruit a long-stalked thin cap­sule 3-5 cm long.

S America (SE Brazil to Argentina)

Widely cultivated, sometimes naturalised in New South Wales and Queensland, and frequently listed under the name C. spinosa which is less showy (and not cultivated in Australia) species from Mexico to northern S America with dirty white petals and a hairy capsule bent downwards. [C. spinosa Jacq.]

Unusually spidery flowers; prickles most evident on the stems and at the base of the maple-like leaves.

Source: Spencer, R. (1997). Capparaceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 2. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 1. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.