Thursday, May 01, 2008


Spiderwort (Tradescantia sp)

There are three species of spiderwort that could be growing here in the Ozarks. My best guess is that this is Tradescantia ernestiana. T. virginiana is supposed to have slightly narrower leaves and T. ozarkana has lighter colored flowers. Without doing a side by side comparison, I couldn't begin to tell them apart, especially since flower color of T. ernestiana can vary from rose-red to blue to purple anyway.

Spiderwort is typically found in moist woodland valleys, ravines and slopes and prefers moist, acidic, humusy soils. It forms clusters of flower buds, but individual flowers open up only a few at a time and last for only one day. This native perennial blooms in April and May here in the Ozarks.

When the stems of spiderworts are cut, a viscous stem secretion is released which becomes thread-like and silky upon hardening (like a spider’s web), hence the common name.



Tom Arbour said...

Spiderworts are very interesting plants, and here in Ohio, our favorite has to be Trandscantia ohioensis.

Stacey Olson said...

I just love you informative posts. thanks so much for sharing. just a statement to let you know i was here. NO questions.. (grin )

Unknown said...

Spiderwort is one of my favs! Lovely!

Texas Travelers said...

Great post as usual Marvin.
Love the hairy stamens.

We have a lot of them blooming in the Nature Center now.


Texas Travelers said...

I forgot to mention, that is a magnificent photograph. Sharp, and the colors are right on.


Lisa at Greenbow said...

Spiderworts aren't blooming here yet. Love this picture. As TT says sharp and color is right.

Anonymous said...

I have a ton of this here where I live and am always fighting a battle to keep it in check. Right now I got most of it on one side of the house and hope it stays there.

Anonymous said...

Marvin, stunning macro shots of such a cool flower! Never seen this plant before!

Anonymous said...

I love love love spiderwort. I have some in my garden, even. Your first photo is lovely!