Ohio Spiderwort, Bluejacket, Snotweed
Tradescantia ohiensis

Family: Commelinaceae (ko-mel-ih-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Tradescantia (trad-es-KAN-tee-uh) (Info)
Species: ohiensis (oh-high-EN-sis) (Info)

Category:

Perennials

Height:

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

Spacing:

9-12 in. (22-30 cm)

Hardiness:

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)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade

Danger:

N/A

Bloom Color:

Magenta (Pink-Purple)

Medium Blue

Dark Blue

Blue-Violet

Violet/Lavender

White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Foliage:

Herbaceous

Other details:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Soil pH requirements:

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Non-patented

Propagation Methods:

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

Regional

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

Midland City, Alabama

Quartz Hill, California

Bartow, Florida

Brandon, Florida

Daytona Beach, Florida

Deland, Florida

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Green Cove Springs, Florida

Inverness, Florida

Jacksonville, Florida (2 reports)

Lake City, Florida

Lakeland, Florida

Ocala, Florida

Oldsmar, Florida (2 reports)

Panama City, Florida

Williston, Florida

Winter Springs, Florida

Brunswick, Georgia

Dacula, Georgia

Troy, Illinois

Washington, Illinois

Carmel, Indiana

Flora, Indiana

Yale, Iowa

Shawnee Mission, Kansas

Salvisa, Kentucky

Roslindale, Massachusetts

Franklin, Michigan

Royal Oak, Michigan

Kasota, Minnesota

Leakesville, Mississippi

Cole Camp, Missouri

Frenchtown, New Jersey

Alden, New York

Buffalo, New York

Clinton, North Carolina

Cincinnati, Ohio

Glouster, Ohio

Northfield, Ohio

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Spencer, Oklahoma

Springfield, Oregon

Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Spartanburg, South Carolina

Mc Minnville, Tennessee

Sweetwater, Tennessee

Dallas, Texas

Fate, Texas

Houston, Texas

Shepherd, Texas

Mechanicsville, Virginia

Lakewood, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:

11
positives
2
neutrals
1
negative
RatingContent
Negative

On Apr 16, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

An aggressive, high-maintenance perennial grown for its long season of bloom.

Individual flowers last only a day, and while flowering goes on over a long season, the accumulating black deadheads make the inflorescence look ugly within a week. It isn't practical to deadhead each flower individually---you need to cut the stem to the ground. The plant will respond well to cutting back with more stems and often more flowers.

The habit is leggy and sprawling. Plants need cutting back frequently.

This is a tough weedy plant that can spread aggressively by self-sowing. Resistant to glyphosate, and very difficult to dig out completely, as plants can regenerate from small bits of root.

To keep it looking acceptable, this plant requires mo... read more

Positive

On Jul 7, 2013, Sherilou from Panhandle Gulf Coast, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

This pretty flower grows and blooms, profusely, in FULL shade! Honey Bees love it.

Positive

On Jun 16, 2013, Chillybean from Near Central, IA (Zone 5a) wrote:

We planted this along with Swamp Milkweed and Hibiscus last spring. We desire to have more natives on our property. These did not appear to thrive very well, but we figured it could have been any number of things, like my black thumb.

We did not think any came back this year, but to my surprise, this morning, I saw several of our plants had bloomed. I look forward to seeing this beauty in the years to come.

Oh, the reason I chose this was because of its lesser known common name... Cow Slobber. That cracked me up. I am not sure I will tell the youngsters that it is also called "Snotweed". :)

Edited to add:
For those disturbed by "the flop", remember it is a native to US "wildflower". It would be growing with other things just as ... read more

Positive

On Jul 23, 2010, PammiePi from Green Cove Springs, FL wrote:

Found as a native throughout NE Florida, you can find these growing just about everywhere. Referred to as "Ditch Lillies" locally, these plants are easy to grow. I have them in full sun and shade, in moist soil and dry. If they like the conditions too well the can become a "weed", but are easy to control. This is one of my favorite plants. I love them!

Positive

On Jul 22, 2010, AmyMorie from Green Cove Springs, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

Great little native anywhere east of the Rockies! Takes a lot of abuse and transplants easily. Drought tolerant.

Positive

On May 4, 2010, jazzy1okc from Oklahoma City, OK wrote:

I know that this plant does very well in OKC as my neighbors have it and there are also two lovely clumps of spiderwort against the fence that forms a border between the parking lot and the perennial section of the nursery where I work. One has magenta blooms and the other has blue blooms.
Both clumps receive sun during the hottest part of the day, from midday to late afternoon. I'm sure the drainage is good as we never have standing puddles in the parking lot after heavy rains. We sneak the spiders a drink once in a while when we water the plants along the inside of the fence, but that's about it.
However . . .
the spiderwort I planted two years ago in a protected alcove just outside my south facing front door is languishing. I think maybe it needs a little more... read more

Positive

On May 19, 2006, QueenB from Shepherd, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

It can be invasive, but I don't mind! I found a massive wild population down under a local river bridge that covers several acres, and I've found just about every color you can imagine growing there. With dark bluish-purple being the most common, white and/or white varigated with blue is the rarest. I've gotten at least six different colors from the same location, and plan to go back and look for more.

Positive

On Apr 18, 2005, JaxFlaGardener from Jacksonville, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

I have HUNDREDS of these plants, and I am not unhappy about it! They came with my property as the most frequently occuring wildflower, along with lots of lantana and an overabundance of Bidens alba.

The Spiderworts transplant easily, so I dig them up and move them to the back edges of my flower bed borders. They grow both in full sun and deep shade. When they are forced to compete with other taller plants to reach the sun, they will grow as high as about 4 ft. I sometimes leave one or two where they choose to grow if they add to a planting in situ. Not much is needed in transplanting them except to dig them up and heel them into a trench at the new site. I've also done a mass planting of them in an area about 3 ft by 4 ft. Jammed closely together, they make an effect... read more

Neutral

On Dec 11, 2004, sadie_mae from Central, KY (Zone 6b) wrote:

These reseed readily in my garden, am constantly pulling up seedlings. They are a good filler while the foliage is nice but get quite ugly for me by late summer and are cut back to the ground. I have the blue and the white, the clumps of blue seem to enlarge more quickly than the white. Mine receive much more shade than sun and do quite well.

Neutral

On Oct 11, 2004, tcfromky from Mercer, PA (Zone 5a) wrote:

Ohio spiderwort is a smooth erect perennial. The flowers are in clusters at leaf nodes or atop a stem. The blooms are 3 petaled, blue or violet, rarely white, with 6 yellow tipped stamens.

Young stems and leaves were eaten in salads or fried with other greens and eaten by native Americans. Spiderworts were thought to cure spider bites

Positive

On Jun 4, 2004, carolinecuz from Clinton, NC wrote:

It is extremely agressive, doubling to tripling every year in my garden. The flowers will stain clothing, so watch out. I intend to save the seeds, now that I know they seed in the fall. Will share them with my friends, my neighbors already have plenty. I wonder how they made it to southeastern North Carolina? I have seen them everywhere between here and the coast. I am glad that I found your website!

Positive

On Aug 9, 2003, Boofy60 from Cincinnati, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

This plant does extremely well in southwest Ohio (zone 6). Bloom cycle is from late spring through late summer. It is also a hardy plant that can withstand the abuse of trampling by children, weedwhacking by husband, and "scenting" by every male dog in the neighborhood. Although not listed on this page I have found it to grow very well in total shade. It is harmonious with the fern family and the hosta family. The combination of the three makes an attractive, minimal maintenance shade bed.

Positive

On Nov 29, 2002, FL_Gator from Dunnellon, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

This is a wonderful perennial in Florida. It has a very long early spring well into summer bloom season, and can throw more blooms from summer through early winter. It is very reliable here, and is native to my area. The one caution I would give on this plant is that it does selfsow, and has invasive potential in very moist spots.

Positive

On Nov 26, 2002, ButterflyGardnr from Orlando, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

This is a very hardy plant that can withstand a bit of abuse (including being mowed). It forms nice clumps and in the south blooms almost non-stop throughout the year. In zone 9a, I find it will die back to the ground twice per year (aroud Feb./Mar. and again in July/Aug.) It is a prolific bloomer, though the blooms will shrivel up in the hot afternoon sun. There are three color variations: blue (most common), white (uncommon), and pink/magenta (rare). These plants will spread readily by seed. Plants may also be divided.

The flowers, leaves, and stems are edible and a great source of water--if you can stand the mucous-like excretions.