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In The Garden: Spiderwort is a true Florida wildflower

By Staff | Apr 11, 2018


Spiderwort (Tradescantia ohiensis) is a native perennial and a true Florida wildflower. It is just as likely to be found in wetlands as non-wetlands and residential landscapes.

Spiderwort emerges in the early springtime.

The plant itself has round fleshy stems that look like long grass leaves about 12-15 inches long. The flowers are a beautiful blue-purple color about 1 to 1-1/2″ in diameter with three petals. The center of the flower has beautiful deep blue stamens with yellow tips, which many find very striking.

Although each flower only lasts one day, the plant will produce flowers for several weeks, and generally will seed in the summertime.

With is structure and small size, spiderwort can be used as a groundcover or a border planting in a wildflower garden or casual setting. The plant actually prefers our island’s sandy lime rock soil. It attracts pollinators, especially bees, which are very important to our eco-system.

Other common names for the plant are bluejacket and Ohio spiderwort. Although some people see spiderwort as a weed since it can spring up in different areas, other gardeners enjoy the wildflower for its free spirit and beauty. After all, beauty is in the eye of the beholder (and gardener).

In The Garden is a joint effort by all at the local garden center, at 3889 Sanibel Captiva Road, Sanibel. For information, contact 239-395-5859 or visit www.facebook.com/rswalshinthegarden.