Tradescantia ohiensis (Ohio spiderwort, Bluejacket)

Although the flowers are pretty and mostly edible, the Ohio spiderwort can be an aggresive self-seeder and considered a weed. The leaves are similar to grass blades, and the flowers are small, making them somewhat difficult to detect in small numbers.

Tradescantia ohiensis (Ohio spiderwort, Bluejacket)
Deciduous: yes
Hardiness Zones: 4-9
Height: 61-91 centimeters (24-36 inches) tall
Diameter: 46-76 centimeter (18-30 inch) spread
Growth Rate: moderate to fast
Age: perennial
Root System: extensive, easily spreads by rhizomes
Family: Commelinaceae
Subspecies: var. foliosa, several hybrid specis

Tolerates: drought, dry soils, not susceptible to most insect/disease problems
Problems (major): none
Problems (minor): Snails may harm young foliage. Capable of self-seeding, can spread aggressively.
Poisonous: The sap may irritate the skin, causing dermatitis.

Soil requirements: Moist, acidic, and sandy or loam or clay soils are preferred, dry soils tolerated.
Air requirements: not sufficiently researched, insignificant
Watering requirement: dry to medium
Sun requirement: full sun (prefers, blooms better in) or part-shade

Leaf shape: Dark-green or blue-green basal (originate from one point) leaves look like blades of grass.
Leaf size: up to 42 centimeters (18 inches) tall and 4 centimeters (2 inches) wide, stems grow anywhere from 15-115 centimeters tall
Flower structure: inflorescences consist of 3 flowers (typically purple or blue) up to 3 centimeters (1.5 inches) in diameter in clusters (up to 20, although typically 3 or 4 are open on any one day)known as “cymes”
Flowering frequency: May-July, each few flowers in a cluster remain open for only one day. Produces dark grey/gray seeds in capsules (which contain up to 6 seeds) that require roughly 120 days of stratification for successful germination.
Bulb/tuber: neither, consists of an extensive root system
Monocot/Dicot: monocot
Annual/Biennial/Perennial: perennial

Notable characteristics:
Apparently edible, T. ohiensis is sometimes used in salads.

The crushed leaves are sometimes used as an insect or arachnid bite remedy.

Sources used:


An Ohio spiderwort in Osaka-fu Japan (uploaded 17 June 2007, originally from


I do not own the rights of this image; all credit goes to its original creator(s).


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