Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Ernest's Spiderwort
Tradescantia ernestiana

Family: Commelinaceae (ko-mel-ih-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Tradescantia (trad-es-KAN-tee-uh) (Info)
Species: ernestiana


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

Unknown - Tell us

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

Sun Exposure:
Light Shade
Partial to Full Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
Medium Blue

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring
Late Spring/Early Summer


Other details:
Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball
From herbaceous stem cuttings
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
From seed; stratify if sowing indoors
Direct sow as soon as the ground can be worked
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed
Collect seedhead/pod when flowers fade; allow to dry
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

Click thumbnail
to view:

By KSBaptisia
Thumbnail #1 of Tradescantia ernestiana by KSBaptisia


No positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral htop On Feb 5, 2009, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

I have not grown this plant which is native to Alabama, Arkansas, Missouri, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Texas. Ernest's Spiderwort (Tradescantia ernestiana) can have deep blue, purple or rose-red blooms. It rarely roots from the nodes. Tradescantia ernestiana is easily confused with, T. virginiana. The two species can be distinguished from each other only by the width of the leaf blades and sheath of the distal leaves. T. ernestiana leaf blades are 1 to 4 cm wide with the distal leaf blades wider than sheaths when the sheaths are opened, then flattened. T. virginiana leaf blades are 0.4--2.5 cm wide with the distal leaf blades equal to or narrower than sheaths when the sheaths are opened, then flattened. (Information from Flora of North America, Vol. 22, pp. 179, 180).


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Beatrice, Nebraska
Concord, North Carolina

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