Tradescantia occidentalis
Family: Commelinaceae
prairie spiderwort, western spiderwort
Tradescantia occidentalis image
Derek Anderson  
Etymology: Tradescantia: after John Tradescant, Sr. (c. 1570 - c. 1637), English gardener to King Charles I
Plants: erect, perennial, 8"-24" tall forb with sticky juice; stems slender, straight, smooth with white powdery surface, often branching
Leaves: firm, smooth, linear, less than 1/3" wide, edges rolled inward
Flowers: rose to blue, 3-parted, 1" wide, petals alike, stalks and sepals with a few soft hairs; inflorescence terminal cluster (cyme) with 2 long, leaf-like bracts below; blooms June-July
Fruits: papery capsule
Habitat: full sun; dry to moderate moisture; prairies, plains; in sandy, loamy soil
Conservation Status: Native