Tradescantia sp. (Spiderworts)
Tradescantia flowers

Zone: 4 to 8

Soil: sand to clay

Light: Full sun to part sun

Bloom colour: Violet

Bloom period: Late spring to mid summer

Height: 2 to 3 feet

Moisture: Dry to moist

Attracts: Some bees and syrphid flies.

Notes: Ohio spiderwort and Virginia spiderwort are the two species present in Ontario. They are similar in many respects so in this note, only Ohio spiderwort will be discussed. Spiderworts have distinctive flowers that are 3-petalled and triangular in shape. The stunning violet petals are contrasted with complimentary yellow anthers. There are many flowers on the inflorescence but only a few open up at a time in the mornings. By the afternoon they are closing up, but this is more than made up for by their long blooming season.

It is moderately attractive to some bees and hoverflies, but in this case, beauty outweighs utility. It is also a very easy plant to grow and in natural areas, it can be found in a range of habitats. It tolerates shade quite well but needs at least 5 hours of sunshine to bloom well. It may be preferable to grow this plant in containers than in a bed because it reseeds quite easily and it also will spread by fibrous rhizomes when it does not flower well. one can go further by adding that it is nearly impossible to kill this plant even in a small container.

Ohio spiderwort is an absolutely charming plant to grow and a great plant for a beginner gardener.

Tradescantia ohiensis - Ohio spiderwort
Tradescantia in a pot
Tradescantia ohiensis - Ohio spiderwort

Tradescantia with Lassioglossum

Ohio spiderwort flower with Lassioglossum