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Hairy-stemmed Spiderwort Tradescantia hirsuticaulis

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
trad-es-KAN-tee-uh
Description

Hairy Spiderwort is a North Carolina native perennial in the Commelinaceae family.  It is not abundant, and you are not likely to stumble onto an area where they are growing.  It will typically be seen in dry, open rocky woods, around rock outcrops and along bluffs.  In addition to the North Carolina mountains, it can be found in the mid to southeastern states in dry rocky woodlands.  

In warmer climates, such as in the Mediterranean, in desert settings, in temperate or in the tropics, it is grown as a perennial evergreen.  Colder climates will give it more of an annual life cycle.

Care of this plant can include placing some mulch to retain some moisture.  Where it is grown as a perennial, give the plant some room to spread or crawl.  Pruning can be done after its blooming has completed for the season.

Propagation can be accomplished by stem cuttings, insuring to leave at least 3 leaves on the cutting.  Another method is to bend a branch over and cover it with soil, providing conditions for rooting to take place.  

Quick ID: 

  • hairy stems, leaves, flower buds and flowers
See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#heat tolerant#drought tolerant#low growing#perennials#wildlife plants#native perennials#NC native#ornamentals#rock gardens#pollinator plant#wildflower garden#food source summer#food source nectar#food source pollen#humidity tolerant#dry soils tolerant#bee friendly#audubon
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#heat tolerant#drought tolerant#low growing#perennials#wildlife plants#native perennials#NC native#ornamentals#rock gardens#pollinator plant#wildflower garden#food source summer#food source nectar#food source pollen#humidity tolerant#dry soils tolerant#bee friendly#audubon
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Tradescantia
    Species:
    hirsuticaulis
    Family:
    Commelinaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Mid to southeastern U.S.A.
    Distribution:
    AL, AR, GA, NC, OK, SC, TN
    Wildlife Value:
    Hairy spiderwort attracts bees and other pollinators.
    Play Value:
    Attracts Pollinators
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 0 ft. 8 in. - 1 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Annual
    Native Plant
    Perennial
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    Less than 12 inches
    NC Region:
    Mountains
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Summer
    Fruit Description:
    Displays from May to July, after blooms have faded.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Blue
    Purple/Lavender
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Cyme
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Saucer
    Flower Petals:
    2-3 rays/petals
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Purple flowers bloom from April to June. Each flower is approximately 1" wide.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Velvety
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Linear
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    Scattered, narrow leaves, with pointed edges grow along the stem. Leaves are up to 6" long and 1/3" wide.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Patio
    Riparian
    Slope/Bank
    Small Space
    Walkways
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Cottage Garden
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Rock Garden
    Shade Garden
    Design Feature:
    Barrier
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Dry Soil
    Heat
    Humidity