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Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.

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Tradescantia ohiensis (Ohio spiderwort)
Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia

Tradescantia ohiensis

Tradescantia ohiensis Raf.

Ohio Spiderwort, Bluejacket

Commelinaceae (Spiderwort Family)

Synonym(s): Tradescantia canaliculata, Tradescantia foliosa, Tradescantia incarnata, Tradescantia ohiensis var. foliosa, Tradescantia reflexa


USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

The branched, erect stems of Bluejacket or Ohio Spiderwort are tinged purple and bear grass-like leaves from up to eight nodes. The total height is from 2-3 ft. Showy clusters of blue to rose, three-petaled flowers top the stems. Flowers tend to open in morning.

When touched in the heat of the day, the flowers shrivel to a fluid jelly.

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

42 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Venation: Parallel
Leaf Margin: Entire
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 3 feet tall.
Flower: Flower 1 inch.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Pink , Blue
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep
Bloom Notes: Deep blue to rose, rarely white.


USA: AL , AR , CT , DE , FL , GA , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MS , NC , NE , NH , NJ , NY , OH , OK , PA , RI , SC , TN , TX , VA , WI , WV
Canada: ON
Native Distribution: MA to s.e. MN, s. to FL & e. TX
Native Habitat: Moist meadows; prairies; thickets

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil Description: Various wet to dry soils. Acid-based, Calcareous, Limestone-based, Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam Clay
Conditions Comments: Tradescantia species will hybridize in just about any combination.


Use Ornamental: Perennial garden, Wildflower meadow
Conspicuous Flowers: yes

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special Value to Native Bees
Special Value to Bumble Bees

This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.


Propagation Material: Root Division
Description: Plant unstratified seed in fall or stratified seed in spring. 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. Remove
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

Find Seed or Plants

Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

Mr. Smarty Plants says

Native wildflowers for Northern Indiana
May 08, 2007
I had the wonderful opportunity to visit the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center on Saturday April 21. What a beautiful place. I thoroughly enjoyed my visit. I was wondering how I could find out w...
view the full question and answer

Michigan native plants for shady, low traffic area
May 10, 2006
Hello, I am looking for a recommendation for a Michigan native groundcover. I live adjacent to the Rouge River watershed and want to buy the right thing. The location is shady, infrequently walked ...
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National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Native Plant Center at Westchester Community College, The - Valhalla, NY
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE


Bibref 946 - Gardening with Prairie Plants: How to Create Beautiful Native Landscapes (2002) Wasowski, Sally
Bibref 318 - Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region (2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski
Bibref 328 - Wildflowers of Texas (2003) Ajilvsgi, Geyata.

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

USDA: Find Tradescantia ohiensis in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Tradescantia ohiensis in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Tradescantia ohiensis


Record Modified: 2023-03-01
Research By: TWC Staff

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