Tradescantia bracteata Small
Bracted Spiderwort, Long-bract Spiderwort
Commelinaceae (Spiderwort Family)
USDA Symbol: TRBR
Erect, stout, usually unbranched stems, 10-18 in. tall. Grass-like leaves. Several flowers in clusters at top of stem, subtended by bracts similar to stem leaves. Three blue-violet petals and six stamens tipped with bright yellow anthers. Long-bract spiderwort flowers close by midday and last only one day.
Named after John Tradescant (1608-1662) who served as gardener to Charles I of England.
Tradescantia species will hybridize in just about any combination.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Venation: Parallel
Leaf Margin: Entire
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 18 inches tall.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Blue , Purple
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul
DistributionUSA: AR , IA , IL , IN , KS , LA , MA , MI , MN , MO , MS , MT , ND , NE , OH , OK , SD , WI , WY
Native Distribution: WI to s.e. MT, s. to AR & OK
Native Habitat: Moist to dry prairies
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil Description: Moist to dry soils
Conditions Comments: Tradescantia species will hybridize in just about any combination.
Value to Beneficial InsectsSpecial Value to Native Bees
This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.
PropagationDescription: Plant treated seed in fall. Seed germinates best in cool soils. A faster method of propagation is divide a large clump into several pieces. Divide in early fall or very early spring. Stem cuttings may be taken any time during the growing season. Remo
Seed Collection: The small light-green capsule, surrounded by three green bracts is mature 2-3 weeks after flowering. A few days prior to splitting, the capsule becomes dry and papery. Collecting seeds is easiest by tying a small bag around the unsplit capsule. Store in sealed, refrigerated containers.
Seed Treatment: Cold-moist stratify for 120 days.
Commercially Avail: yes
National Wetland Indicator Status
BibliographyBibref 946 - Gardening with Prairie Plants: How to Create Beautiful Native Landscapes (2002) Wasowski, Sally
Bibref 328 - Wildflowers of Texas (2003) Ajilvsgi, Geyata.
Search More Titles in Bibliography
Web ReferenceWebref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Tradescantia bracteata in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Tradescantia bracteata in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Tradescantia bracteata
MetadataRecord Modified: 2023-01-26
Research By: TWC Staff