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Tradescantia tharpii (Tharp's spiderwort)
Wasowski, Sally and Andy

Tradescantia tharpii

Tradescantia tharpii E.S. Anderson & Woodson

Tharp's Spiderwort, Dwarf Spiderwort

Commelinaceae (Spiderwort Family)



USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Tharpís Spiderwort or Dwarf Spiderwort is a low-growing perennial, usually under 8 in. tall. Its straight, erect stems are rarely branching and the bright-green leaves are long, narrow and widely spreading. A number of three-petaled flowers occur in a terminal cluster. The wide variety of flower colors includes purple, lavender, blue, rose and pink.

The genus is 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

4 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 8 inches in fruit, may be less than 4 inches in flower.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Pink , Blue , Purple
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May


USA: KS , MO , OK , TX
Native Distribution: S.w. MO & adjacent KS, s. to n.c. TX
Native Habitat: Prairies & open woodlands

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Description: Well-drained clay or sandy loam.
Conditions Comments: This Tradescantia re-blooms periodically throughout summer and, unlike other spiderworts, does not go dormant and brown out during mid-summer.

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special Value to Native Bees

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

Herbarium Specimen(s)

NPSOT 0838 Collected Mar 27, 1994 in Bexar County by Harry Cliffe

1 specimen(s) available in the Digital Herbarium


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


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

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