About five years ago we went to a Native Plant Sale held at Millersville University, Lancaster County, PA. We picked up two native plants, Wild Ginger and Spiderwort, Tradescantia virginiana.
Wild ginger is much more plentiful in the wild, at least in the places we’ve looked. The wild ginger we planted has spread out a little bit and the original plant carried its flower from earlier this year until the second week of June. Spiderwort flowers beautifully in the later part of May into June.
Greenery of the spiderwort plant rises up early starting in April. Photo below taken 11 April 2010.
A couple of weeks later (23 April 2010) the foliage is over a foot tall. The linear leaves arch over as they get taller. It will take 2-3 weeks from this stage for the spiderwort to start blooming. Check out how small this spiderwort plant was in 2006.
This year I should have staked up the plant as it got heavy with blooms and now is laying over to the side. The flowers are still really pretty!
Didn’t get flowering pics until 31 May 2010. Spiderwort flowers were blooming until 11 June for a 2-3 week blooming period for 2010.
Younger plants may have fewer flowers open at one time. Each bloom lasts for a day and then only in the morning. The blossoms wilt and turn to jelly by mid-day.
Note the stamens with golden-yellow anthers, fuzzy purple hairs, and the flower pistil with a round end or stigma in center of bloom. Note that the lower left flower has four petals instead of the typical three – only saw one flower with four petals out of about 80 blossoms. Click on any of these photos for a larger view.
The flowers are so pretty that people used to make them into candy. Peterson’s Edible Plant Guide says all you have to do is rinse the flowers with water, dry gently, brush with egg white and coat with sugar. Not sure the effort would be worth the taste, but at least they’d be real pretty!
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