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Ohio Spiderwort Tradescantia ohiensis

Text and Photography Copyright David Bush. All rights reserved.

The Ohio Spiderwort (also known as Bluejacket) is one of four species that grow in the Ozarks where I live. I am delighted that there are several of these colorful wildflowers growing in my backyard.

The Ohio spiderwort has three blue-purple petals, each flower has six yellow stamens, with blue hairs near the base. The flowers open in the early morning and close in the afternoon to conserve moisture. On cloudy days the flowers may remain open longer. Each flower only blooms once, but each plant will have more than 20 flowers per stem. There is no floral scent to the flowers. The spiderwort is a perennial, blooms appear in mid-spring through early summer. Height of the plant can be about 2 feet with three triangular petals, flower size is 1-2 inches. The leaves of the Ohio spiderwort can be up to 15 inches in length with a pointed shape, and the plant grows well in full or partial sun in well-drained soil conditions. The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service website indicates that the Ohio spiderwort can be found in a number of states from Florida to Michigan. This plant is very adaptable and can be found in woodland borders, meadows near woods and roadside ditches.

The name Spiderwort may have come from the resemblance to spider silk when the sap is stretched between the fingers. The leaves were used by the Cherokee for medicinal purposes, including as a treatment for insect bites and as an ingredient for treating kidney problems.

Ohio Spiderwort is a very photogenic subject, and I am looking forward to seeing more of these beautiful wildflowers in my yard next spring.

About the image...

Canon EOS 10D, 1/60 at f/5.6, +1/2 EV compensation, EF 75-300.

DB - NPN 0623

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