We need to raise £10,000 from user donations to get our finances in balance. More >>>

Follow Us:

 

Tradescantia virginiana - L.

Common Name Spiderwort, Virginia spiderwort
Family Commelinaceae
USDA hardiness 4-9
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Woods, scrub, meadows and roadsides[43, 187].
Range Eastern N. America - Connecticut to Wisconsin, south to Georgia and Tennessee.
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (1 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Tradescantia virginiana Spiderwort, Virginia spiderwort


commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Tradescantia_virginiana,_by_Mary_Vaux_Walcott.jpg
Tradescantia virginiana Spiderwort, Virginia spiderwort
commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Djlayton4

 

Translate this page:

You can translate the content of this page by selecting a language in the select box.

Summary

Bloom Color: Blue, Pink, Purple, White. Main Bloom Time: Early summer, Late summer, Late spring, Mid summer. Form: Spreading or horizontal, Upright or erect.


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Tradescantia virginiana is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.4 m (1ft 4in) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 7. It is in flower from June to October, and the seeds ripen from August to October. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs). The plant is not self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.

Synonyms

T. virginica.

Habitats

Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Flowers;  Leaves.
Edible Uses:

Leaves - raw or cooked[61, 103, 105, 213, 257]. The very young shoots and leaves can be chopped and added to salads or cooked as a potherb[183]. Flowers - raw. They make an attractive edible garnish[183].

Medicinal Uses



Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Kidney;  Laxative;  Poultice;  Women's complaints.

The roots are laxative[222]. They are also used as a tea in the treatment of kidney and stomach ailments and women's complaints[222, 257]. A poultice of the leaves is applied to stings, insect bites and cancers[222, 257].

Other Uses

None known

Cultivation details

Landscape Uses:Border, Container, Ground cover, Woodland garden. An easily grown plant[233], it thrives in any good rather moist soil[1, 111]. Succeeds in dry soils[188]. Succeeds in dappled woodland shade[88, 111] or in full sun[111]. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus[1]. Plants often self-sow in British gardens[1]. A very variable species, there are a number of named forms selected for their ornamental value[1]. Plants in this genus seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits[233]. Plants are self-sterile, at least two genetically distinct plants (and not divisions from the same plant) must be grown if seed is required. Special Features: Attractive foliage, North American native, Naturalizing, Wetlands plant, Suitable for cut flowers, Extended bloom season in Zones 9A and above, Attractive flowers or blooms.

image

The PFAF Bookshop

Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees, and Woodland Gardening. Our new book to be released soon is Edible Shrubs.

Shop Now

Propagation

Seed - sow spring in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Division in spring or autumn[111]. Cuttings of young shoots, July in a frame. They root easily and quickly.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants

 

Print Friendly and PDF

Expert comment

Author

L.

Botanical References

43200

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

gbrust   Wed Apr 4 2007

Has anyone ever looked at this plant as a dye? This plant grows alomst invasively in my lawn. When the flower has finished it's short life, and receded back into the pod/bud, if the bud is squeezed, a purple/blue fluid is released that stains the fingers. Anyone else seen this?

David Nicholls   Sun Oct 14 2007

The book "The illustrated Herb Encyclopedia" by Kathi Keville (1991) lists some other uses for this plant: Scientists use it to detect small amounts of radiation, chemical mutagens, auto exaust, sulpher dioxides & pesticides. Its, blue cells turn pink after exposure. It's been used in practical applications. It is one of the most effective plants at absorbing formaldhyde caused by poor ventilation in buildings. I wonder what the plant tastes like, presumably bland since noone ever mentions flavour.

David Nicholls   Thu Feb 7 2008

Name changed (?) According to the book Botanica: "The Tradescantia Andersonia Group of hybrids covers a range of plants formerly listed under T X andersonia or T virginia". I've tried the leaves of a "T. andersonia" assuming it is virginiana(by that name unavailable in New Zealand),tastes more like cucumber than anything else I can think of.

david   Thu Feb 7 2008

(addition to above message) It seems the name Tradescantia virginiana was in the past wrongly given to the hybrids commonly available in nurseries, it should only apply to a non hybrid wildly occuring plant. Hybrids probably unwise to experiment with from what I can gather.

Kelley Wilkinson   Sat Aug 16 2008

Eat The Weeds Green Dean talks about Tradescantia and shows how to prepare it.

QR Code

What's this?

This is a QR code (short for Quick Response) which gives fast-track access to our website pages. QR Codes are barcodes that can be read by mobile phone (smartphone) cameras. This QR Code is unique to this page. All plant pages have their own unique code. For more information about QR Codes click here.

1. Copy and print the QR code to a plant label, poster, book, website, magazines, newspaper etc and even t-shirts.

2. Smartphone users scan the QR Code which automatically takes them to the webpage the QR Code came from.

3. Smartphone users quickly have information on a plant directly for the pfaf.org website on their phone.

Add a comment

If you have important information about this plant that may help other users please add a comment or link below. Only comments or links that are felt to be directly relevant to a plant will be included. If you think a comment/link or information contained on this page is inaccurate or misleading we would welcome your feedback at admin@pfaf.org. If you have questions about a plant please use the Forum on this website as we do not have the resources to answer questions ourselves.

* Please note: the comments by website users are not necessarily those held by PFAF and may give misleading or inaccurate information.

To leave a comment please Register or login here All comments need to be approved so will not appear immediately.

Subject : Tradescantia virginiana  
All the information contained in these pages is Copyright (C) Plants For A Future, 1996-2012.
Plants For A Future is a charitable company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales. Charity No. 1057719, Company No. 3204567,
Web Design & Management
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Some information cannot be used for commercial reasons or be modified (but some can). Please view the copyright link for more information.