Are Spiderworts Worth It?
Ohio Spiderwort (Tradescantia ohiensis) is another blue bloom of June. The flowers are very attractive (I love all blue flowers), at least while they’re open.
The thing is, they only stay open in the cool of the morning. It’s like they’re only a part-time flower. Around the time most of us take a morning coffee break, it’s quittin’ time for the Spiderworts.
There are other flowers that bloom only in the morning. Morning Glories (Ipomoea tricolor), for example. But Morning Glory flowers are showy and gorgeous, while Spiderwort flowers are understated even if attractive. Also, I’ve found that Morning Glories often bloom into the early afternoon, at least later in the season.
There are also flowers that bloom only in the evening, of course. This seems a bit more acceptable from the point of view of the gardener. In the mornings we are rushing off to work, but in summer evenings we are more likely to have time to peruse the garden.
Ohio Spiderworts are tall and rather leggy, but I think all Spiderworts look a bit unkempt, with those leaves sticking out at awkward angles from just below the terminal flower buds. Depending on my mood, I can find this charming or not.
Also, Spiderwort is an unfortunate common name, though it’s actually not as bad as it sounds. “Wort” is just a Middle English word for plant, and has nothing to do with warts. (Could a spider have tiny warts?) Some say the name comes from the leaves’ resemblance to spider legs, others that it comes from the silky threads made by the dried sap.
So what do you think? Are Spiderworts worth having in the garden?