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Native Plant Society of Texas

Prairie Spiderwort

Tradescantia occidentalis

Other common name(s):

Western Spiderwort, Spiderwort

Family:

Commelinaceae (Spiderwort Family)

Plant Ecoregion Distribution Map

Central Great Plains, Chihuahuan Deserts, Cross Timbers, East Central Texas Plains, Edwards Plateau, Gulf Coast Prairies and Marshes, High Plains, Southwestern Tablelands, Texas Blackland Prairies, Western Gulf Coastal Plain
Broken Red Plains, Limestone Plains, Red Prairie
Chihuahuan Basins and Playas, Chihuahuan Desert Grasslands, Chihuahuan Montane Woodlands, Low Mountains and Bajadas, Stockton Plateau
Carbonate Cross Timbers, Eastern Cross Timbers, Grand Prairie, Limestone Cut Plain, Western Cross Timbers
Bastrop Lost Pines, Floodplains and Low Terraces2, Northern Post Oak Savanna, Northern Prairie Outliers, San Antonio Prairie, Southern Post Oak Savanna
Balcones Canyonlands, Edwards Plateau Woodland, Llano Uplift, Semiarid Edwards Plateau
Coastal Sand Plain, Lower Rio Grande Alluvial Floodplain, Lower Rio Grande Valley, Southern Subhumid Gulf Coastal Prairies, Texas-Louisiana Coastal Marshes
Arid Llano Estacado, Canadian/Cimarron High Plains, Llano Estacado, Rolling Sand Plains, Shinnery Sands
Canadian/Cimarron Breaks, Caprock Canyons Badlands Breaks, Flat Tablelands and Valleys, Semiarid Canadian Breaks
Floodplains and Low Terraces1, Northern Blackland Prairie, Southern Blackland Prairie
Southern Tertiary Uplands

Plant Characteristics

Growth Form

Herbaceous

Height

1.5
to
2
ft.

Spread

0.5
to
1
ft.

Leaf Retention

Semi Evergreen

Lifespan

Perennial

Habitat and Care Requirements

Soil Type(s)

Sand, Loam, Clay, Limestone, Acid, Calcareous, Well Drained

Light Requirement

Sun, Part Shade

Water Requirement

Low

Native Habitat

Grassland

Bloom and Attraction

Bloom Color

Pink, Purple

Bloom Season

Summer

Seasonal Interest

Nectar

Wildlife Benefit

Bees

Maintenance

Cut back after leaves turn brown in summer. Purple is nice with Red Columbine.

Comments

Dormant in summer, new leaves appear in fall. Blooms every morning for several weeks in spring.

References

1) Griffith, Bryce, Omernick & Rodgers (2007). Ecoregions of Texas. 2) https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=TROC. 3) https://portal.torcherbaria.org/portal/taxa/index.php?taxon=Tradescantia+occidentalis&formsubmit=Search+Terms. 4) http://bonap.net/TDC/Image/Map?taxonType=Species&taxonId=7737&locationType=County&mapType=Normal, 5) https://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=39168#null