Would you plant something named Clammy Weed in your garden? I certainly did, especially since it was shared by Michael at Plano Prairie Garden when I visited his beautiful garden back in May. I'm joining Gail at Clay and Limestone for Wildflower Wednesday where bloggers are invited to report on wildflowers in their gardens the fourth Wednesday of each month.
Clammy Weed is an annual which grows in all 48 lower states of the U.S. and into southern Canada and northern Mexico. When I began my research I thought it was a form of Cleome, and it is still listed that way on some sites, but it's a member of the Caper family (Caparidaceae) even though the flower buds do not look at all like capers. Clammy Weed is classified as an herb but my research turned up no culinary uses and only one reference to the possibility that it might have been used for stomach ailments.
The stem feels damp or "clammy" and fuzzy with a slightly weedy scent reminiscent of a bean plant. So far the deer have ignored it. Last year I had a similar native plant pop up in the garden but did not let it seed out because it looked much more weedy and I couldn't be sure which one it was. Clammy weed blooms in full sun in the hottest part of my garden with little or no supplemental water so it is a keeper and, because it is an annual, I will let it seed out and also collect some of the seeds just in case. One downside is I haven't noticed many pollinators on it.
Back in late June the flowers were just beginning to appear with their red whiskers.
The seed pods are now forming in late July.
I have enjoyed this plant in my garden and next year I'll try for a larger massing of these because they bloom in the heat of summer when everything else is fading.
Clammy Weed (Polanisia dodecandra)
Hardiness zones: Annual in all zones, although it has been known to winter over in warm climates.
Height: 1 to 3 feet
Blooms: Summer, white flowers
Propagation: Self sows freely
Thank you Gail for hosting this wonderful wildflower meme which has encouraged bloggers to share how they use wildflowers in their gardens. To learn more about wildflowers check out the links at Clay and Limestone.