blue, pink, purple
March - August
0.1 - 0.4
Tradescantia is easily propagated by seed. The capsules should be collected when mature (two to three weeks after flowering). Seed dehiscence is irrigular and the upper capsule bearing part of the stem should be wrapped with nylon or a paper bag to collect seed. The seeds may be sown fresh or stored dry at 10 degrees F. Fresh seed germinates in two weeks but Steffen (1997) recommendes cold/moist stratification for stored seed. Cuttings may be rooted at anytime (Phillips 1985). It is well adapted to wet spots and can be aggressive in disturbed ground.
Found in sandy soils of prairies, woods, and river banks throughout most of Louisiana and east Texas. It ranges from Florida to Texas and north to Arkansas. The genus Tradescantia was named for John Tradescant, a gardener for Charles I of England, who was an avid plant collector. The species name hirsutiflora means "hairy flower." The common name "spiderwort" comes from the Anglo-Saxon word "wyrt" or wort, meaning herb. The spider part of the name could refer to the long spidery leaves or the web like strands produced by the mucilaginous sap. The young stems and leaves may be cooked or eaten raw in the spring. The mucilaginous vegetative parts are great for thickening soup. The flowers can be used to garnish salads or other dishes.
Sandy soils in prairies, open woods, and on banks.