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A long-blooming native perennial like Spiderwort, Tradescantia virginiana, can fit into a lot of spaces in the home garden. Three-petaled flowers form a triangle. They are violet-blue with vivid yellow stamens growing in a 3’ tall clump. Each flower is open for only a day, in the morning, but they bloom in succession from buds at the ends of stems, from April through July. The flower stems are surrounded by arching green leaves up to one foot long and one inch wide that are erect early in the season but are somewhat drooping in summer.

Spiderwort is not fussy about growing conditions—part shade, medium water, low maintenance—and tolerates clay soil, dry and wet soil. It would fit in a woodland or native garden, naturalized or as a border, along with other perennials that hide the sprawling leaves late in the season. The plant can self-seed and spread but dead-heading will prevent seed set. Spiderwort’s blue-violet flowers are attractive with yellow flowers like Green and Gold (Chry...

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