|From In the Garden|
Spiderwort, aka Tradescantia virginiana or species is a native perennial plant that works well in the shade garden. It has flowers that last only one day then fade away. I grow it here all through my gardens, and like it very much as it is an easy to grow reliable perennial. Once planted it returns each year and even self seeds around a bit. The one pictured above is a new addition to my gardens. It is 'Sweet Kate' spiderwort. A lovely plant with chartreuse foliage and a vivid blue flower that works well in any garden.
Spidewort was named for John Tradescant, a gardener for King Charles I of England. He and his son are credited with introducing many new plants to England, more info on that soon.
A really neat thing I found out about spiderwort is that if you break off a tip of a leaf, wait for a drop of sap to appear then touch the sap between two fingers and try to pull the sap apart. It resembles a spider's silky web. Perhaps that is where the common name spiderwort comes from. I found this information on this website. Do check it out for more neat information and try the sap trick.
Tonight's meeting of the Perennial Plant Society of Middle Tennessee features Cathy Green of Green and Hagstrom Inc. The title of her program is "Garden Ponds and Aquatic Plants". She will be speaking about the differences between water features; including koi and garden ponds and what type of plants work best in them. Spiderworts would well around any water feature in a natural setting. For more information on the program visit the PPS's website located here. All meetings are held at Cheekwood Botanical Gardens and begin at 7:00 pm. Hope to see you there....
in the garden....
I found some research online (several sources) that say spiderworts are ephemeral, then some sources that say the flowers are ephemeral (fading away when the sun comes out). I checked my Southern Living Garden book and it does not mention spiderworts being ephemeral, so I have backtracked on that fact. In my garden, the spiderworts do tend to fade away in late summer, but not completely. They return robustly the next spring.