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Tradescantia subaspera

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Plant types and subtypes: Perennials

Light Requirements: part-sun, part-shade, shade

Water Use: medium

Soil Moisture: moist

Soil Description: acid, rich, average, poor, loam

Height: 1'-2'

Bloom Time: May, June, July, August, September

Bloom Color: violet, blue

Leaf Color: green

Hardiness Zone: 5, 6, 7, 8

Additional Tags: clumping, naturalizing, shade garden plant, woodland plant

Flower of Tradescantia subaspera (zigzag spiderwort)
  • Flower of Tradescantia subaspera (zigzag spiderwort)
  • Flower of Tradescantia subaspera (zigzag spiderwort)
  • Flower of Tradescantia subaspera (zigzag spiderwort)
  • Flower of Tradescantia subaspera (zigzag spiderwort)

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Description

Tradescantia subaspera

Also known as:

zigzag spiderwort

,

spiderwort

Scientific Synonyms:

Description

This species of spiderwort gets its common name because the placement of its stiff, sword-like leaves around its erect stem, gives the plant a "zig-zag" appearance. Tradescantia subaspera may grow over 2' tall, topped with deep violet-blue, three petaled flowers forming terminal clusters.

Cultivation

Tradescantia subaspera is a very adaptable species, tolerant of varied soil and light conditions. It will form dense clumps that should be divided if blooms start to decline. Though its flowers last only one day, it will bloom profusely for 2 months or more, anytime from May to September, depending on geographic location. Zones 5-8

Propagation

Divide clumps in early spring or late fall. Will self seed under ideal conditions.

Additional Notes

Perfect for shade gardens, zig-zag spiderwort can also be used in perennial borders. The foliage will tend to decline when done flowering, but it can be cut back hard, which will encourage a second late summer to early fall bloom. Spiderworts got their name because the viscous secretions they exude when cut, will harden into a thread-like or silk-like form.

Native Range & Classification

Recorded County Distribution: USDA data

Native Range:
AL, AR, DC, FL, GA, IL, IN, KY, LA, MO, MS, NC, NY, OH, PA, SC, TN, VA, WV

Classification

Kingdom Plantae Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta Flowering plants
Class Liliopsida Monocotyledons
Subclass Commelinidae
Order Commelinales
Family Commelinaceae Spiderwort family
Genus Tradescantia spiderwort
Species Tradescantia subaspera zigzag spiderwort