Jun 6th, 2014

Spiderwort: Why's it Called That Anyway?

by Jonah Holland , PR and Marketing Coordinator, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

If you read this blog often then you know one of the reasons I love working at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is because I’m always learning something.  Today I learned that the reason that  Tradescantia virginiana  aka spiderwort is called “spider” wort or spider lily is because when the stem of a spiderwort is cut, “a viscous stem secretion is released which becomes threadlike and silky upon hardening (like a spider’s web), hence the common name,” says Missouri Botanical Garden’s Plantfinder.   I won’t be trying this at the Garden anytime soon. But I’ve got a friend with this plant in her back yard. I can’t wait to see if she’ll let me try it.  I bet it would be a really fun thing to do with kids.

It’s really a beautiful plant. I love the bead-like pods that form after the bloom.

spiderwort: bead-like pods that form after the bloom.

 Tradescantia virginiana  aka spiderwort: bead-like pods that form after the bloom.

Jonah Holland is Digital Content Manager at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, where she has worked for 14 years overseeing social media, the blog, and the website. She is also a mom, yogi, open water swimmer, gardener, and seeker. She's been known to go for a walk in the Garden and come back with hundreds of plant photos, completely inspired to write her next blog post.

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