Spiderwort

3 Apr

Spiderwort (Tradescantia), winter deciduous perennial, arching growth to 1-2 ft. in height, dense clusters of green buds produce 3 petal white, lavender or nearly red colored flowers spring through summer, grass-like foliage, sun to shade, best in well drained soil but tolerates boggy conditions.

Tradescantia is a genus of an estimated 71 species of perennial plants in the family Commelinaceae, native to the New World from southern Canada south to northern Argentina. They are weakly upright to scrambling plants,  and are commonly found individually or in clumps in wooded areas and fields. The leaves are long, thin and bladelike to lanceolate. The flowers are white, pink or purple but most commonly bright blue, with three petals and six yellow anthers. The sap is mucilaginous and clear. A number of the species flower in the morning and when the sun shines on the flowers in the afternoon they close up, but the flowers can remain open on cloudy days until evening.

Though sometimes accounted as a weed, spiderwort is cultivated for borders and also used in containers. Where it appears as a volunteer, it is often welcomed and allowed to stay.

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