Tradescantia ohiensis - OHIO SPIDERWORT

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Clump-forming perennial, native to Eastern and central North America. Can be found in prairies, wood margins, savannas, meadows, along roadsides, or in waste areas. See the USDA distribution map.

Grows to 2.5'-3' tall x 1.5' wide, grass-like arching leaves , clusters of three-petaled blue flowers (0.75-1.5" diameter) from late May to Early July (each flower opens for one day only). Hardy in zones 4-9.

Genus name honors John Tradescant (1570-1638) and his son John Tradescant (1608-1662), botanists and successive gardeners to Charles I of England.

For many people spiderwort is too common and too "weedy", but on the other hand, we don't see it that much in the wild any more. But this is very tough plant and overlooked plant, here are it's benefits :

- long flowering season

- very adaptable to any type of soil (from clay, loam, average soils to sandy), from wet or moist to dry soils

- very drought tolerant, black walnut tolerant and some shade tolerant (grows from full sun to partial or dappled shade)

- excellent pollinator support - it is pollinated by long-tongued bees, especially bumblebees. Other visitors include halictine bees, syrphid flies and butterflies

- doesn't suffer with any significant diseases

- can naturalize itself

The only disadvantage might be that spiderworts can be nibbled by deer, rabbit (also box turtles). And it may look a bit untidy after it's finished blooming, but this is easy to fix - by cutting the clump back, spiderwort will quickly recover with new fresh green leaves. In summer heat, it can also become dormant for a while...

This plant offers a lot, more that many "tender" garden perennial, so why do we overlook it? This is superb plant for modern naturalistic garden design, prairie type of plantings, naturalization in meadows or woodland edges or open woods, low maintenance gardens, pollinator gardens, cottage gardens, rain gardens. It can self-seed and become somewhat aggressive in ideal growing conditions, but it is not difficult to pull it out, if unwanted.

Due to it's adaptability to soil, moisture and shade, it can be combined with many native perennials, nativars or even common and favorite Hosta, Hemerocallis (daylily) or irises.

Pot size : square 3.5" x 5' deep pot


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  • 5
    Ohio Spiderwort

    Posted by Joe Parent on 13th May 2021

    Plant arrived well packed, watered ready for planting. Great purchase and would definitely recommend US Perennials!!