Thursday, 19 February 2015


Tradescantia, the Spiderworts, is a genus of 75 species of perennial plants in the family Commelinaceae, native to the New World from southern Canada south to northern Argentina including the West Indies. Some species have become naturalised in various regions in Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and assorted oceanic islands.

They are weakly upright to scrambling plants, growing to 30–60 cm tall, and are commonly found individually or in clumps in wooded areas and fields. A number of the species flower in the morning and when the sun shines on the flowers in the afternoon they close, but can remain open on cloudy days until evening.

Tradescantia gigantea or Giant Spiderwort, has a dainty, three-petal flower with slender, hairy stamens. The flower colour can be an indicator of the pH of the soil. Acidic soils produce bluer flowers, while more alkaline soils create varying shades of pink and purple. All parts of this plant contain volatile oil that can cause severe skin inflammation, itching, and blistering on direct contact or if borne by sooty smoke. Washing thoroughly with soap or swabbing with alcohol immediately on exposure removes the oil irritant. The berries are poisonous if eaten.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.


  1. I have not seen these before! Beautiful!

  2. Lovely, I've seen this flower here as well.

  3. Lovely flower to have such nasty qualities.

  4. I have seen these at the local big Box hardware for sale, but don't know that I have seen them in the wild. I like the bloom and have considered adding it to my landscape collection.