Native Plant Focus: Prairie spiderwort/Western Spiderwort, Tradescantia occidentalis, was named after John Tradescant (1608-1662) who served as gardener to Charles 1 of England. The erect, branching stems of this perennial are up to 2 ft. tall. Its leaves are long and narrow with a whitish bloom. Several flowers, in clusters at stem or branch ends, are subtended by bracts similar to the leaves. There are three blue-violet petals and six stamens with yellow anthers. Flowers close by mid-day and last only one day. Western Spiderwort was used by Native Americans as a cooked vegetable.
Grow in moist, well-drained soil, in sun or light shade. A long-flowering plant for an herbaceous border. Protect young growth from slugs.
Reference: Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower