Spiderwort: Nature’s Geiger Counter
It seems like nearly every garden in Central Virginia has them, and they are plentiful here at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden too — in Flagler and Grace Arents Garden. But did you know that Spiderwort, or Tradescantia virginiana, the plant with the odd name, is a detector of radiation? In response to low levels of nuclear radiation, the filament hairs of the stamen of some spiderworts change from purple-blue to pink. Luckily, as you can see from our flowers here, all is well in the Garden.