Tradescantia ohiensis

Species Native to Missouri
Common Name: Ohio spiderwort 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Commelinaceae
Native Range: Eastern and central North America
Zone: 4 to 9
Height: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Spread: 1.50 to 2.50 feet
Bloom Time: May to July
Bloom Description: Deep blue to rose blue
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Naturalize
Flower: Showy
Tolerate: Drought, Dry Soil, Shallow-Rocky Soil


Easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Very tolerant of part shade, but bloom may be less profuse. Prefers moist, acidic, sandy soil. Divide clumps when they become overcrowded. Cut back to 6-12" in mid-summer to encourage new growth and a possible fall bloom.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Tradescantia ohiensis is a clump-forming herbaceous perennial which grows up to 3' tall with dark bluish-green, arching, grass-like leaves up to 1.5' long and 1.75" wide which are folded lengthwise forming a channel or groove. Clusters of blue (less frequently rose), three-petaled flowers (0.75-1.5" diameter) bloom from late May into early July. Each flower opens up for only one day. Can self-seed and become somewhat aggressive in ideal growing conditions. A Missouri native plant that is commonly found in prairies, wood margins, meadows, along roadsides, or in waste areas.

Genus name honors John Tradescant (1570-1638) and his son John Tradescant (1608-1662), botanists and successive gardeners to Charles I of England.

Specific epithet means of Ohio.


No serious insect or disease problems. Young shoots are susceptible to snail damage. Foliage tends to sprawl in an unattractive manner by mid-summer.


An interesting and long-blooming perennial for the border, naturalized area, meadow or open spaces of the woodland garden.