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Common Spiderwort Tradescantia virginiana

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
trad-es-KAN-tee-uh vir-jin-ee-AN-uh
Description

Virginia Spiderwort is a herbaceous clump-forming perennial in the dayflower family that is native to the eastern and central USA and is found in the Piedmont of NC. The plants spread by underground stolons forming clumps and grow 2-3 feet tall by 1 foot wide. It can be found in moist prairies, fertile woodlands, open woods, meadows, hillsides, stony bluffs, stream banks, and along roadsides. 

In spring the 3-petaled flowers appear and last for a day but new ones are produced daily in terminal clusters. Flower colors range from blue to purple to pink. Once they have finished blooming cut back the stems. The foliage may die back in the heat of the summer but returns in late summer to fall and often reblooms. 

Virginia Spiderwort prefers moist to wet fertile sites but adapts to average garden soils in sun to shade. Provide additional water during dry periods. Use in a naturalized or woodland area, along a stream or pond, in a rain garden or the border of a native/pollinator garden.

 

 

 

See this plant in the following landscapes:
Backyard Planting Crevice Garden, Guilford County Border Garden- Pathway Shaded Slope Pollinator Garden- Partial Shade Border Garden- Pathway Pollinator Garden- Partial Shade
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Sweet Kate'
'Sweet Kate'
Tags:
#fall flowers#white flowers#purple flowers#pink flowers#native perennial#blue flowers#spring flowers#wet sites#pond margins#NC native#summer flowers#pollinator plant#native wildflower#food source summer#border front#NC Native Pollinator Plant#food source nectar#food source pollen#coastal FAC#FACU Piedmont Mountains#HS302#audubon
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Sweet Kate'
'Sweet Kate'
Tags:
#fall flowers#white flowers#purple flowers#pink flowers#native perennial#blue flowers#spring flowers#wet sites#pond margins#NC native#summer flowers#pollinator plant#native wildflower#food source summer#border front#NC Native Pollinator Plant#food source nectar#food source pollen#coastal FAC#FACU Piedmont Mountains#HS302#audubon
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Tradescantia
    Species:
    virginiana
    Family:
    commelinaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Native Americans used the plant medicinally.
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Eastern and central United States
    Distribution:
    AL , CA , CT , DC , DE , GA , IA , IL , IN , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , MO , MS , NC , NH , NJ , NY , OH , PA , RI , SC , TN , VA , VT , WI , WV
    Wildlife Value:
    Flowers attract bees.
    Edibility:
    Leaves can be eaten raw mixed in salads. Teas can be made from the plant.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 5 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 0 in. - 1 ft. 6 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Wildflower
    Habit/Form:
    Arching
    Clumping
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Deep shade (Less than 2 hours to no direct sunlight)
    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:
    Clay
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Wet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8a, 8b, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Description:
    The seed capsules split open into 3 parts, each releasing seeds.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Blue
    Pink
    Purple/Lavender
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Cyme
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Petals:
    2-3 rays/petals
    Flower Description:
    3-petaled flower with delicate spider web-like filaments surrounding the anthers in terminal clusters. Blooms in spring and again in fall.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Whorled
    Leaf Shape:
    Linear
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Up to 12 inch long and 1 inch wide dark to olive-green leaves have parallel venation. They are linear with a wide base and pointed tip. Margins are smooth.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Cross Section:
    Round
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
    Stem Description:
    The rounded stalks are either single or branched at the base and glabrous, although scattered long hairs may occur where the leaves wrap around the stems
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Pond
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Rain Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Pollinators