Spiderwort (Tradescantia virginiana) in the Tradescantias Database

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Spiderwort
Give a thumbs up Virginia Spiderwort
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Give a thumbs up Lady's Tears

Botanical names:
Tradescantia virginiana Accepted
Tradescantia congesta Synonym
Tradescantia axillaris Synonym
Tradescantia virginica Synonym
Tradescantia albida Synonym

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Herb/Forb
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Dry Mesic
Dry
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 3 -40 °C (-40 °F) to -37.2 °C (-35)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 9b
Plant Height: 12 - 24 inches
Plant Spread: 18 - 24 inches
Leaves: Unusual foliage color
Spring ephemeral
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: Blue
Lavender
Pink
Purple
Bloom Size: Under 1"
Flower Time: Spring
Late spring or early summer
Summer
Underground structures: Rhizome
Uses: Will Naturalize
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Propagation: Seeds: Self fertile
Stratify seeds: 3 months at 40 degrees
Seeds are hydrophilic
Propagation: Other methods: Division

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The Top 50 All Things Plants WildflowersThe Top 50 All Things Plants Wildflowers
October 18, 2014

It's hard to figure out which plants are wildflowers and which ones aren't, so lists like these are hard to come up with. Nevertheless, with help from our members we made a list of areas of the database that qualify, and here's the top 50 most popular species from among them!

(Full article12 comments)
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Photo gallery:
Location: central IllinoisDate: 2011-06-09
By jmorth
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Location: Nora's Garden - Castlegar, B.C.Date: 2016-05-15 8:58 am. Each blossom lasts a day.
By HemNorth
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Image
By Hamwild
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Location: Roberta GeorgiaDate: MayAck! They've over-run the place!
By stone
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Location: central IllinoisDate: 2013-06-15note hover fly on right bloom
By jmorth
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Location: central IllinoisDate: 2011-06-02
By jmorth
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Courtesy Gardens in the Wood of Grassy Creek
By vic
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Location: central IllinoisDate: 2014-07-16
By jmorth
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Location: central IllinoisDate: 5-8-12
By jmorth
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Location: central IllinoisDate: 2016-09-29
By jmorth
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Location: Broken Arrow, OK
By Zebraduck
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Newly planted, Spring emergent growth
By Hamwild
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This plant is tagged in:
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Comments:
Posted by Catmint20906 (Maryland - Zone 7a) on Aug 27, 2014 4:08 PM

Virginia spiderwort (Tradescantia virginiana) produces purple blossoms in the late spring to early summer. Reaching up to 3 feet tall, it likes average to moist soil and part sun. Native to eastern North America, it is a nectar source for butterflies and has special value to native and bumble bees. In my zone 7a garden, it is mildly aggressive and its deep roots make it a chore to dig up.

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Posted by Mindy03 (Delta KY) on Feb 12, 2012 12:32 PM

Honey bees get nectar and pollen from this plant.

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Posted by jmorth (central Illinois) on Feb 7, 2014 6:08 PM

Leaves (tea or salad) and seeds are edible.

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Posted by Catmint20906 (Maryland - Zone 7a) on Aug 2, 2014 7:28 PM

According to the NPIN, Tradescantia virginiana has special value to native & bumble bees.

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Posted by Chillybean (Iowa - Zone 5a) on Jul 22, 2015 6:15 PM

This plant also goes by the common names of Cow Slobber and Snotweed. I already have an abundance of Ohio Spiderwort in a wetter area of our property. I planted the bare roots for the Virginia near our Prairie-to-be in early April. They came up nicely and I was very surprised and pleased that they bloomed. What a gorgeous, deep purple! My favourite colour!

If I had any disappointments, it is the fact that after their time of blooming, leaves and all died. There is absolutely no sign of their existence. I do not know if this is usual or not, but I'll be watching for them next spring. They have a chance as they are earlier than many of the weeds I have to battle. I hope the Cow Slobber flourishes as much as the Ohio variety.

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Plant Events from our members
Catmint20906 On May 13, 2015 Bloomed
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Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Help identify by Dexter0401 Jun 4, 2018 7:45 AM 6
What else do we grow in 2018 by hawkarica Jan 1, 2019 8:49 AM 1,225
What happened to Callisia congesta? by purpleinopp Sep 27, 2018 4:24 PM 9
What weed is this? by bwv998 Jul 18, 2016 3:42 PM 6
mystry plant on the side of the road in Charleston SC by ediblelandscapingsc May 17, 2016 10:38 PM 9
Rooting spiderwort, Cow Slobber from stem cutting by dayliliesandart Jun 14, 2016 4:40 AM 28
Ornamental grass??? by papa Apr 23, 2016 4:14 PM 7
Spring Plant Swap Haves and Wants by MariposaMaid May 4, 2016 6:38 PM 26
April 2011 Blooms by tink3472 Apr 30, 2011 3:44 PM 41

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