Cheryl Harner's Flora and Butterfly Blog
Weedpicker's Journal: Discover the native plants of Ohio and the butterflies that utilize them.
No Spiders here... 11, 2007
This is the sad case of a beautiful and under-appreciated plant, that was probably done in by its common name. This lovely family of plants are known as the Commelinaceae or "Spiderworts." That's quite a turn off, isn't it? And it is too bad, because they are easy to find and easier to grow. I have been familiar with the ones in the landscaping trade, Virginia Spiderwort, Tradescantia virginiana for many years. It is hybridized and found in all the box stores with interesting names like "Bilberry Ice" and Blue something or other. Ok, I can't remember everything!

Our Ohio native, Tradescantia ohiensis is found in prairies, like the one in Caledonia, Ohio or Don Beam's back yard. It gives a prairie a gorgeous blue tint in the early summer, before the tall grasses take over and dominate the scene. It was found in the new world by a very famous English plant-guy, or botanist if you will. His name? John Tradescant. See how nicely that worked out? He found a plant with his very own name on it. How very clever he was :)

He was clever enough to know the English, renown gardeners that they are, would buy loads of them if he could only get it back to England and propagate it. And now you the a little something more about this sun-to-shade, wet-to-dry plant that can hold its own anywhere! It is one of my all time favorites.

2007-07-12 03:36:13 GMT
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