It was early in June and we had missed the big rhodo flowering show, but, there were still lots to see along the winding woodland trails...lilies, ferns and later blooming wildflowers were planted among the azaleas and rhododendrons. That's when I saw what looked like the smallest spiderwort ever. Had the azaleas been in bloom I might have completely overlooked it, as it was, I had to drop to my knees to get a closer look at the tiny lavender-pink blooms with the golden stamens. It was lovely and it was certainly a member of the Tradescantia family, but which one?
I didn't have to go far to discover the identity of the sweet Tradescantia. Luckily for me 'Morning Grace' was among the small grouping of Carolina native plants the arboretum was selling. Although, native to coastal states* in the Southeast, I decided to give the diminutive spiderwort a chance and, boy, am I glad. This little cutie pie has bloomed continually since early June, bonus points for having a steady stream of small pollinator visitors and being rabbit and deer resistant! It's a keeper!
I hope it stays happy in my garden for a long, long time...
*Southern Appalachian region (USDA hardiness zones 6 to 9) On the whole, Spiderwort prefers a moist, rich, acidic soils in part shade, not in full sun or deep shade.
Gail Eichelberger is a gardener and therapist in Middle Tennessee. She loves wildflowers and native plants and thoroughly enjoys writing about the ones she grows at Clay and Limestone. She reminds all that the words and images are the property of the author and cannot be used without written permission.