Rocky Mountain Beeplant

Rocky Mountain Beeplant


(Cleome serrulata)

An annual native wildflower that grows in open ground in arid zones from the West Coast to the central states and into southern Canada. It goes by many names: Rocky Mt. beeplant, beeweed, skunkweed, guaco, stinking clover, Navajo spinach, the Hopi name túmi, Navajo name naá, and a Zuni name a’pilalu… The young shoots are eaten as a cooking green.

Rocky Mt beeplant has been described as a “fourth sister” for bringing seasonal greens and attracting pollinators to the traditional Three sisters food plant guild of corn, beans, squash. In some areas it is encouraged to grow near corn fields to provide additional sustenance from the greens, for the many pollinators that visit it, and also to provide an edible dye cake.

It flowers in the summer into the fall with clusters of bright purple-pink flowers like fireworks. The plants can grow upwards of 4’ tall and be single stemmed or grow a more branching form if they have more water, nutrients and space.

Direct seed in fall, or early spring through summer, or start in flats in the green house with strong light and plant out before they start blooming. They will be stronger and more drought-tolerant if direct seeded or planted as small starts.

Packet: 100 seeds

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