While it’s name belies it beauty, anyone who has seen these wonderful native flowers either in the wild or have planted them in their yard know that they are lovely plants. Right now these flowers are blooming along with other wildflowers in fields not far from where I live in Colorado. Though this particular sub-species, Prairie spiderwort, is native through the interior western and some mid western states, there are other members of this family (Commelinaceae) that are native to most of the U.S. and Canada.
Other native spiderwort’s include Ohio spiderwort, sometimes referred to as ‘Bluejacket’, and Virginia spiderwort, that was featured photo on this blog last fall, both native to midwestern and eastern states plus California (now how did a native flower jump over so much of the country to the west coast??).
These beautiful native wildflowers are fun to enjoy in natural areas but you can also plant them in your yard to add some of the great native qualities including being a nectar source for bees and butterflies. Just be careful as the Great Plains Nature Center warns that some commercial growers sell an “introduced species Commelina benghalensis, sometimes referred to as “spiderwort”, has become an invasive pest in many southern states in the U.S. It is a very difficult plant to control or eliminate from sites once it gets established. It is resistant to Round-Up (glyphosate) herbicide.”
I think it is a good idea to purchase native seeds from companies that specialize in them and guarantee that they were not taken from the wild (a very bad idea) and that they are indeed native and not an introduced seed that may be invasive. Here are a few native seed companies that not only sell native siderwort seeds but espouse good values in preserving native plants: Prairie Moon Nursery (located in Illinois), that sells plants as well as seeds; Prairie Nursery (plants grown in central Wisconsin), sells spiderwort plants; Wildflower Farm (farm is in Ontario, Canada), sells seeds; and Western Native Seed (located in Colorado only about 30 miles from where I live), sells seeds.
This is not an inclusive list and I picked them to provide sources in different parts of the country as it is a good idea to get seeds and plants as close to your home as possible. (Note: I do not know any of these companies, even the one near me, and have no financial or other connections with them).
Jill recently posted an article on this blog about planting native plants that offers some great information.
Do you grown any of the native spiderwort in your yard? (I don’t yet but I am going to plant some)