I've never grown spiderwort, but your story piqued my curiosity about the plant and its name. I already knew that "wort" is an old English word meaning "plant," but I found three different explanations for the "spider" part of the name. One source claimed the stringy sap resembles a spider's web. A second source said the plant, when viewed from above, vaguely looks like the shape of a spider, and a third source claimed the plant was once believed to be a medicine for treatment of a spider's bite. Another source claimed that spiderwort may be useful to detect radiation poisoning. I wonder what Aunt Bett would think of that, although the theory is yet unproven. The name "tradescantia" is for John Tradescant, gardener to King Charles I of England (ruled 1606-1625). Tradescant imported the seeds of the New World native plant to England, where it remains a popular garden plant. Thanks for your article, Sharon. It helped me to learn some new things today.