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Weed Identification




Scientific Name

Tradescantia ohioensis

Other Common Names:

Ohio spiderwort

Synonyms (former Scientific Names):

Tradescantia canaliculata
Tradescantia incarnata
Tradescantia reflexa
Tradescantia foliosa


The stem of the spiderwort is erect and slender. The entire plant is glabrous or lacks hairs. Plants grow in moist areas around ponds and in low lying ditches. Plants sprout from among dead foliage in early spring and bloom in mid summer.


Its leaves are alternate and linear-lanceolate, and can be 4 to 14 inches long and .25 to .75 inches wide. They have simple, entire margins and clasp the stem at the nodes. Leaves lack hairs.

Identifying Characteristics

The blue, purple or lavender flowers of this plant stand out brightly.

Flower Seed Head

The flowers are blue, purple, or lavender, and can be 1 to 1.5 inch wide. They have three petals, six stamens, and dense hairy filaments. Three sepals are smooth, waxy, and sometimes have a tuft of hair at the apex.

Seed Fruit

The fruit is an oblong capsule divided into three parts. Each part produces one or two grey seeds that measure 2 to 4 millimeters long.

Where Found

Found in moist places, and on sandy, rocky, or clayey soil. They can also be found along roadsides, railroads, on prairies, and in open woods or disturbed areas.

Life Cycle


Plant Type