Overview

Comprehensive Description

Comments

This is probably the most common Spiderwort in Illinois. The flowers are short-lived, but beautiful, particularly when they are viewed close-up. Ohio Spiderwort can be readily distinguished from Virginia Spiderwort by the absence of conspicuous hairs on the flowering stems near the inflorescence, and the greyish or bluish appearance of the thin leaves. It also tends to be taller and more spindly in appearance than other species of Spiderwort, and has smaller bracts subtending the inflorescence. The leaves and stems are reported to be edible – fresh or cooked. Return
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Description

This is a native perennial plant about 2-4' tall and mostly unbranched, except toward the apex. The central stem is round, glabrous, and occasionally glaucous. The grey- or blue-green alternate leaves are up to 15" long and 1" across. They are linear, although wider at the base, where the leaves wrap around the stem in sheaths, than at the tip. They are also glabrous, with parallel venation and smooth margins, tending to bend downward towards the middle. The light violet to blue-violet flowers occur in small clusters on hairless flowering stems at the top of the plant. Underneath each inflorescence are 2 small bracts, each up to 3" long and less than ½" across. Each flower is about 1" across, with 3 rounded petals, 6 bright yellow anthers, and fine spidery violet hairs near the base. The flowers open up during the morning and close by the afternoon in sunny weather, but remain open longer on cloudy days. There is no floral scent.  The blooming period occurs from late spring to mid-summer, and lasts about 1½ months, during which time only a few flowers are in bloom at the same time. The mature seed capsules split into 3 sections, each capsule releasing 3-6 oval to oblong, brown seeds. The root system is thick, fleshy, and fibrous, sending off occasional offshoots nearby.
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Distribution

National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

Herbs, erect or ascending, rarely rooting at nodes. Stems 15--115 cm; internodes glabrous or occasionally pilose, glaucous. Leaves spirally arranged, sessile, forming acute angle with stem, arcuate; blade linear to linear-lanceolate, 5--45 ´ 0.4--4.5 cm (distal leaf blades equal to or narrower than sheaths when sheaths opened, flattened), apex acuminate, glaucous, usually glabrous, sometimes pilose near sheath. Inflorescences terminal and often axillary; bracts foliaceous. Flowers distinctly pedicillate; pedicels 0.7--3 cm, glabrous; sepals glaucous, 4--15 mm, glabrous or with apical tuft of eglandular hairs; petals distinct, deep blue to rose, rarely white, broadly ovate, not clawed, 0.8--2 cm; stamens free; filaments bearded. Capsules 4--6 mm. Seeds 2--3 mm. 2n = 12, 24.
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Diagnostic Description

Synonym

Tradescantia canaliculata Rafinesque; T. foliosa Small; T. incarnata Small; T. reflexa Rafinesque
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat & Distribution

Flowering late winter--fall (Feb (Fla.)--Sep). Roadsides, railroad rights-of-way, fields, thickets, less commonly in woods, occasionally along streams; Ont.; Ala., Ark., Conn., Del., D.C., Fla., Ga., Ill., Ind., Iowa, Kans., Ky., La., Md., Mass., Mich., Minn., Miss., Mo., Nebr., N.J., N.Y., N.C., Ohio, Okla., Pa., R.I., S.C., Tenn., Tex., Va., W.Va., Wis.
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Associations

Faunal Associations

The most important pollinators of the flowers are long-tongued bees, especially bumblebees. Other visitors include Halictine bees and Syrphid flies. However, the Syrphid flies feed on stray pollen and are non-pollinating. Spiderwort is rarely bothered by insects, although Lema collaris (Leaf Beetle sp.) reportedly feeds on the foliage. Mammalian herbivores also eat the plant, including the White-Tailed Deer, Cottontail Rabbit, Box Turtles, and livestock. The foliage is non-toxic to these animals. Photographic Location
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Flower-Visiting Insects of Ohio Spiderwort in Illinois

Tradescantia ohiensis (Ohio Spiderwort)
(Bees collect pollen; the butterfly is searching vainly for nectar; one observation is from Grundel & Pavlovic as indicated below, otherwise they are from Robertson)

Bees (long-tongued)
Apidae (Apinae): Apis mellifera cp fq; Apidae (Bombini): Bombus griseocallis cp, Bombus pensylvanica cp; Anthophoridae (Eucerini): Synhalonia speciosa cp fq; Megachilidae (Megachilini): Megachile brevis cp

Bees (short-tongued)
Halictidae (Halictinae): Augochlorella aurata cp, Halictus confusus cp, Lasioglossum macoupinensis cp, Lasioglossum pectoralis cp, Lasioglossum tegularis cp, Lasioglossum versatus cp; Andrenidae (Andreninae): Andrena cressonii cp

Butterflies
Lycaenidae: Lycaeides melissa samuelis exp (GP)

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Tradescantia ohiensis

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 3
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: N2 - Imperiled

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Cultivation

The preference is full or partial sun, and moist to slightly dry conditions. The soil can contain loam, clay, gravel, or sand – this plant is very adaptable. Sometimes the leaves develop brown blotches or turn yellow in response to harsh weather conditions, competition from other plants, or age. Range & Habitat
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Wikipedia

Tradescantia ohiensis

Tradescantia ohiensis, commonly known as bluejacket or Ohio spiderwort, is an herbaceous plant species in the genus Tradescantia native to eastern + central North America. It is the most common and widely distributed species of Tradescantia in the United States, where it can be found from Maine in the northeast, west to Minnesota, and south to Texas and Florida. It also has a very small distribution in Canada in extreme southern Ontario near Windsor.[1][2][3]

Distinguishing features of the species include glaucous leaves and stems, leaves forming an acute angle with the stems, sepals with hairs lacking glands which are confined to the apex if present at all, and a relatively tall habit (up to about 115 cm). Typical habitats for the plant include roadsides, along railroads, and in fields and thickets. Less typically it can occur in woods, and sometimes along streams. As with many species in the genus, it is often forms hybrids with related species where they co-occur. More specifically, at least nine different species are thought to be capable of forming hybrids with T. ohiensis.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
  2. ^ Biota of North America Program 2013 county distributiion map
  3. ^ Turner, B.L. (2006). Texas species of Tradescantia (Commelinaceae). Phytologia 88: 312-331.
  4. ^ Faden, Robert (2006), "Tradescantia ohiensis", in Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds. 1993+, Flora of North America online 22, New York & Oxford: Oxford University Press, p. 178 


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Notes

Comments

Tradescantia ohiensis is the most common and widespread species in the United States. It hybridizes with many of the other species. 

 Tradescantia ohiensis var. foliosa (Small) MacRoberts has been recognized for the forms with pilose leaves and sheaths (D. T. MacRoberts 1977). I have found such plants scattered among populations of glabrous plants, and I do not consider them worthy of formal taxonomic status.

The following hybrids are known: Tradescantia ohiensis ´ T. gigantea, in Louisiana and Texas; T. ohiensis ´ T. hirsuticaulis, Arkansas; T. ohiensis ´ T. occidentalis, Arkansas, Louisiana; T. ohiensis ´ T. ozarkana, Arkansas; T. ohiensis ´ T. paludosa, Louisiana (reported by MacRoberts, 1980); T. ohiensis ´ T. roseolens, Alabama, Florida; T. ohiensis ´ T. subaspera, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia; and T. ohiensis ´ T. virginiana, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia.

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