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Spiderwort has grassy foliage and interesting purple blossoms, but tends to flop after flowering. It does best in shady locations and benefits from a good haircut after blooming.

Latin Name

Tradescantia virginiana



Also Known As

Spider Lily

Type of Plant

Perennials Perennials

Bloom Season

May - July


Summer Summer


Max height Max Height: 3'
Max spread Max Spread: 1.5'


  • Flower Border
  • Naturalize

  • Sunlight Exposure

    Full Shade Full Shade
    Part Shade Part Shade


  • Clay Soil
  • Black Walnut

  • Toxicity

    Skin irritant Skin irritant


    Native Range

    Eastern United States


    Philadelphia plantsman John Bartram listed this Virginia native for sale in 1770.

    Planted at Mount Vernon

    Planted at Mount Vernon Upper Garden

  • Upper Garden

  • Hardiness Zones

    4a 4b 5a 5b 6a 6b 7a 7b 8a 8b 9a 9b USDA basemap

    Average annual extreme minimum temperature 1976-2005

    map legend 4a 4b 5a 5b 6a 6b 7a 7b 8a 8b 9a 9b

    Bartlett Tree Expert Company has been working with Mount Vernon Estate since 2011 providing expert arboricultural care and GPS mapping for the estate’s historic trees, as well as support from their research facility.   Mount Vernon is proud to partner with Bartlett Tree Experts and appreciates their sponsorship of George Washington’s Mount Vernon Plant Finder App.

    Bring Washington's Garden Home

    Purchase our historic seeds, collected from plants grown at Mount Vernon and plant them in your own garden.

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