Tradescantia (Andersoniana Group) 'Blushing Bride'
Common Name: spiderwort
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Commelinaceae
Zone: 4 to 9
Height: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to July
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium to wet
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Naturalize, Rain Garden
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Colorful
Tolerate: Wet Soil

Culture

Easily grown in average, medium moisture to wet, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. It is expected that the foliage of ‘Blushing Bride‘ will retain its best variegated color in part shade locations. Plant leaves may turn entirely green over time in full sun exposures. Plants generally prefer moist, acidic, humusy soils. Deadhead each flower cluster after all buds in the cluster have opened to extend the bloom period. As the heat of the summer sets in, foliage may decline considerably and flowering may slow down or stop entirely at which point plants may be cut back hard. Cutting back stems almost to the ground will promote both new variegated foliage growth and an additional late summer to fall bloom. Divide clumps when they become overcrowded. Plants will naturalize over time.

Noteworthy Characteristics

‘Blushing Bride’ is a clump-forming, hybrid spiderwort that is noted for its unique variegated foliage. It typically grows to 12-18” tall. Dayflower-like green foliage emerges in spring with pink blotches at the base of each leaf. The pink blotches turn white as the plants mature providing interesting variegated leaves. Three-petaled, white flowers (to 1.5” diameter) accented by contrasting yellow stamens are borne in terminal clusters (umbels) atop stiff stems. Numerous flower buds form in each cluster, but individual flowers open up only a few at at time, each for only one day, blooming in succession from May into summer. When the stems of spiderworts are cut, a viscous stem secretion is released which becomes thread-like and silky upon hardening (like a spider’s web), hence the common name. Genus name honors John Tradescant (1570-1638) and his son John Tradescant (1608-1662), botanists and successive gardeners to Charles I of England. Andersoniana Group includes hybrids of T. virginiana, T. subaspera and T. ohiensis.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Young shoots are susceptible to damage from snails and caterpillars. Spiderwort foliage often sprawls in an unattractive manner by mid-summer.

Garden Uses

Rock gardens, borders, open woodland gardens, naturalized areas or moist areas along streams or ponds.