Tradescantia ernestiana Woodland Spiderwort

Easyliving Native Perennial Wildflowers Native wild Flower Seeds and Potted Plants

for Home Landscaping and Prairie Restoration  

Tradescantia ernestiana picture, woodland spiderwort picture, ernest's spiderwort   Habitat Bloom Period Color Height Inches Moisture Plant Spacing Lifespan
Tradescantia ernestiana picture, woodland spiderwort picture Tradescantia ernestiana Woodland Spiderwort picture Shade to part sun April, May Rose red, purple 12 to 24 Average to Moist 12 to 24 Inches Perennial

Tradescantia ernestiana Woodland Spiderwort  Photo by cj 

Tradescantia ernestiana woodland spiderwort potted plants ARE AVAILABLE $5.00 each plus Boxing/Shipping

email with your zip code and number of plants for shipping charges on Woodland Spiderwort potted plants

For our other Native Wild flowers visit Wildflower Seed and Potted Plant Price List

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 email questions, comments, and orders to

We accept payment by check or money order and through PayPal

Tradescantia ernestiana seed
woodland Spiderwort seed

number of seeds

approximate coverage
in square feet

1 packet - out of seed


33 sq ft

1 ounce - ---------  


495 sq ft

1 pound ----------- 


7900 sq ft

Tradescantia = Named for John Tradescant, 17th century botanist and gardener

Tradescantia ernestiana, Woodland Spiderwort or Ernest's spiderwort, Is a very showy flower for the spring shade garden.  Ernest's Woodland spiderwort is small and not as aggressive as it's larger relative Ohio Spiderwort.  This shade spiderwort grows wild on moist rocky wooded slopes, in valleys and along Ozarks streams in Southwestern Missouri, northwestern Arkansas, and eastern Oklahoma but can be planted over most of the Midwestern and Eastern US.  Plant Woodland Spiderwort in average to moist rich soil in light to heavy shade in Midwestern and Eastern US.  This is a very attractive woodland wildflower for the shade garden and will grow over most of the Midwestern and Eastern United States

Tradescantia ernestiana Woodland Spiderwort is a small showy wildflower perfect for the spring shade garden.  Woodland spiderwort does not take over like the larger Ohio Spiderwort.

Plant Woodland Spiderwort with other native woodland wildflowers like  Columbine  Green Dragon  American Spikenard  Jack-in-the-pulpit  Goat's Beard  Wild Ginger  Wild Geranium  Virginia Bluebells  Woodland Phlox  Jacob's Ladder  Bloodroot  Celandine Poppy   Purple Trillium   White Trillium  Blue Cohosh  Black Cohosh  Shooting Star  Ginseng   Christmas Fern   Dutchman's Breeches 

The map below shows areas where native Tradescantia ernestiana woodland spiderwort wildflower plants grow wild, it can be grown over most of the Midwest and Eastern US.  Plant in USDA plant hardiness zones 4 to 9.  

State Distributional Map for Tradescantia ernestiana Woodland Spiderwort

Tradescantia ernestiana
Woodland Spiderwort  


Tradescantia ernestina woodland spiderwort SEEDS are NOT available
Use the chart below for shipping charges on our other native wild flower seeds

to order seed copy and mail the order form
 email questions, comments and orders to

 email with your zip code and number of plants for shipping charges
on Tradescantia ernestiana Woodland Spiderwort potted plants

We accept payment by check, money order, and through Paypal

The minimum seed order amount is $10, this can be a combination of different seeds.

subtotal for flower seeds 

shipping charge for seeds

seed orders up to  $20.00    =  

 $4.00 shipping

$20.01 - $50.00    =  

 $6.00 shipping

$50.01-$100.00    =  

 $7.50 shipping

over $100.00    =    7.5 % of subtotal


  Flower Pictures  Wildflower Seed and Potted Plant Price list  Order Form   

Easyliving Wildflowers
PO Box  522
Willow Springs,  MO.  65793
Phone 417-469-2611 

We accept payment by check or money order and through PayPal

e-mail questions, comments, and orders to

Native Tradescantia ernestiana woodland spiderwort plant distribution map complements of USDA, NRCS. 2001. The PLANTS Database, Version 3.1
  ( National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.













Alternate Names
Common spiderwort, dayflower, flower-of-a-day, Job’s tears, snake-grass, spider-lily, trinity, trinity-lily, widow’s-tears
Ethnobotanic: The Cherokee and other Native American tribes used Virginia spiderwort for various food and medicinal purposes. The young leaves were eaten as salad greens or were mixed with other greens and then either fried or boiled until tender. The plant was mashed and rubbed onto insect bites to relieve pain and itching. A paste, made from the mashed roots, was used as a poultice to treat cancer. A tea made from the plant was used as a laxative and to treat stomachaches associated with overeating. Virginia spiderwort was one of the seven ingredients in a tea used to treat “female ailments or rupture.” It was also combined with several other ingredients in a medicine for kidney trouble.
Please consult the PLANTS Web site and your State Department of Natural Resources for this plant’s current status (e.g. threatened or endangered species, state noxious status, and wetland indicator values).
General: Spiderwort Family (Commelinaceae). Virginia spiderwort is a native, perennial forb. This plant was probably named for the delicate spider web-like filaments that surround the anthers of the flower or the threadlike secretion that emerges from the stem upon cutting. The lightly fragrant flowers (2 to 5.4 cm in diameter) grow in terminal clusters. The flower’s three broadly ovate petals are generally bright blue but are sometimes purple, violet, rose, and rarely white. Individual blossoms last for only one or two days, but new blossoms appear daily throughout the spring blooming period. The plants grow in erect clumps that range from 30 to 60 cm in height. The rounded stalks are either single or branched at the base. The roots are thick and fleshy. The plant spreads through underground stems or stolons to form large colonies. The smooth iris-like leaves are long (15 to 46 cm) and narrow (2.5 cm wide) with a prominent midrib.
Distribution: For current distribution, please consult the Plant Profile page for this species on the PLANTS Web site.
Habitat: Virginia spiderwort can be found in moist prairies, fertile woodlands, open woods, meadows, hillsides, stony bluffs, stream banks, and along roadsides.
Virginia spiderwort is a vigorous plant that likes moist soils but will adapt to drier, average garden soils. The plants are often seen in old-fashioned gardens and work well as part of a perennial border. They are recommended for bogs and naturally wet sites where the plants can form large clumps when grown in full sun. The plants will flower in both sun and shade. Plants may be propagated from seed but they are more easily started from cuttings or divisions. For cuttings, take a single-node stem cutting late in the season, just as the plants begin to bolt. Place the cutting in moist soil up to the base of the leaf. To propagate by division, divide the thick roots in the fall or early in the spring. Be careful to divide the leaves so that each section includes its own roots. Established plants will self-sow and stalks that lay on the ground will readily root from the nodes.
The foliage may be partially clipped back after blooming to control the size and untidy appearance of
© George F. Russell
Smithsonian Institution, Dept of Botany
the plant. The plants will flower a second time in the late summer or fall if the stems are removed soon after the first flowering period. This vigorous grower can be somewhat controlled by dividing the plants every two to four years and by regularly removing the stalks that slump to the ground before they have the opportunity to take root. Large clumps may be divided by first lifting the root mass from the soil with a shovel. Then divide the clump into pieces that contain four to six shoots each with roots attached. Immediately plant and water the divisions.
Pests and Potential Problems
Virginia spiderwort is relatively pest and disease free. Snails will eat the young shoots.
Cultivars, Improved and Selected Materials (and area of origin)
These plant materials are somewhat available from commercial sources. Contact your local Natural Resources Conservation Service (formerly Soil Conservation Service) office for more information. Look in the phone book under ”United States Government.” The Natural Resources Conservation Service will be listed under the subheading “Department of Agriculture.”
Bailey, L.H. and E.Z. Bailey 1976. Hortus Third: A concise dictionary of plants cultivated in the United States and Canada. Simon and Schuster Macmillan Co., New York, New York. 1290 pp.
Banks, W.H. 1953. Ethnobotany of the Cherokee Indians. Master of Science Thesis, University of Tennessee, Tennessee. 216 pp.
Chapman, A.W. 1883. Flora of the Southern United States: Flowering Plants and Ferns. Second Edition. J. Wilson and Son, Cambridge, Massachusetts. 698 pp.
Coffey, T. 1993. The history and folklore of North American wildflowers. Houghton Mifflin, Boston, MA. 356 pp.
Cullina, W. 2000. The New England Wild Flower Society guide to growing and propagating wildflowers in the United States and Canada. Houghton Mifflin Company, New York, New York. 322 pp.
Hamel, P.B. and M.U. Chiltoskey 1975. Cherokee plants and their uses: A 400-year history. Herald Publishing Company, Sylva, North Carolina. 65 pp.
Missouri Botani