Tradescantia virginiana

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Plant types and subtypes: Perennials

Light Requirements: part-sun, part-shade

Water Use: low

Soil Moisture: dry, moist

Soil Description: rich, average, clay, sand

Height: 2'-3'

Bloom Time: May, June, July

Bloom Color: violet, purple, blue

Leaf Color: green, lime-green

Hardiness Zone: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Additional Tags: attracts bees, attracts butterflies, clumping, cottage garden plant, ornamental foliage

Flower of Tradescantia virginiana (Virginia spiderwort)
  • Flower of Tradescantia virginiana (Virginia spiderwort)
  • Flower of Tradescantia virginiana (Virginia spiderwort)
  • Flower of Tradescantia virginiana (Virginia spiderwort)
  • Flower of Tradescantia virginiana (Virginia spiderwort)

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Description

Tradescantia virginiana

Also known as:

Virginia spiderwort

,

common spiderwort

,

dayflower

,

flower-of-a-day

,

Job's tears

,

snake-grass

,

spider-lily

,

trinity

,

trinity-lily

,

widow's-tears

,

spider lily

Scientific Synonyms:

Ephemerum congestum, Tradescantia brevicaulis, Tradescantia congesta, Tradescantia rupestris, Tradescantia speciosa, Tradescantia virginiana var. alba, Tradescantia virginiana var. barbata

Description

Tradescantia virginiana forms 2 1/2' tall dense clumps of elegant, arching, iris-like leaves that tend to bend in the middle. The flowers are borne in tight clusters atop a central stem. Each flower is composed of 3 petal, is up to 1" across, violet-blue with contrasting yellow stamens. Individual flowers are short-lived, opening in the morning and closing by mid-afternoon, but are produced in abundance and over a period of 2 months from late spring to mid-summer.

Cultivation

Viginia spiderwort is very easy to grow and trouble free. It prefers partial sun to light shade, and moist to dry fertile soil. If grown under dry conditions, especially with too much sun or shade, the foliage may decline during the summer, but cutting the plants back will encourage new growth and a possible second blooming period in early fall. With a fleshy, fibrous root system, and seeds that fall close to the plant, this species is well-behaved and does not spread aggressively. The light-green, linear foliage provides excellent contrast for a perennial garden. Zones 4-9

Propagation

Fresh seeds are quick to germinate, usually within two weeks after sowing. Stored seeds will require a period of cold-moist stratification. Plants are easy to propagate by clump division in fall or early spring.

Additional Notes

This species hybridizes easily, and bloom colr can be variable. It is susceptible to being browsed by herbivores.

Native Range & Classification

Recorded County Distribution: USDA data

Native Range:
AL, AR, CA, CT, DC, DE, GA, IA, IL, IN, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, SC, TN, VA, VT, 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 virginiana Virginia spiderwort