General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Herb/Forb
Sun Requirements: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Dry Mesic
Plant Height: 12 - 24 inches
Plant Spread: 18 - 24 inches
Leaves: Unusual foliage color
Spring ephemeral
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: Blue
Bloom Size: Under 1"
Flower Time: Spring
Late spring or early 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

Common names
  • Spiderwort
  • Virginia Spiderwort
  • Spider Lily
  • Lady's Tears
Botanical names
  • Accepted: Tradescantia virginiana
  • Synonym: Tradescantia albida
  • Synonym: Tradescantia axillaris
  • Synonym: Tradescantia virginica
  • Synonym: Tradescantia congesta

This plant is tagged in:
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  • Posted by Catmint20906 (PNW WA half hour south of Olympia - Zone 8a) on Aug 27, 2014 4:08 PM concerning plant:
    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.
  • Posted by Chillybean (Iowa - Zone 5a) on Jul 22, 2015 6:15 PM concerning plant:
    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.
  • Posted by Catmint20906 (PNW WA half hour south of Olympia - Zone 8a) on Aug 2, 2014 7:28 PM concerning plant:
    According to the NPIN, Tradescantia virginiana has special value to native & bumble bees.

  • Posted by Mindy03 (Delta KY) on Feb 12, 2012 12:32 PM concerning plant:
    Honey bees get nectar and pollen from this plant.
  • Posted by jmorth (central Illinois) on Feb 7, 2014 6:08 PM concerning plant:
    Leaves (tea or salad) and seeds are edible.
Plant Events from our members
Catmint20906 On May 13, 2015 Bloomed
WebTucker On March 12, 2022 Bloomed
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