• Tradescantia occidentalis

    Western spiderwort

Tradescantia occidentalis

Western spiderwort Description:

Tradescantia occidentalis, commonly known as Prairie Spiderwort, is a herbaceous perennial plant that is native to North America. It can be found in prairies, meadows, and along roadsides in the central and western parts of the United States.

Prairie Spiderwort typically grows 10 to 24 inches tall and has a clump-forming habit. It has long, narrow, grass-like leaves that are arranged in a basal rosette. In late spring to early summer, the plant produces clusters of three-petaled flowers in shades of blue to violet, pink, or white. The flowers are held on branched stems above the foliage and are highly attractive to pollinators such as bees and butterflies.

Tradescantia occidentalis is an excellent plant for naturalizing in a prairie garden or wildflower meadow, and it is highly tolerant of drought and heat. It prefers a well-drained soil in full sun to partial shade and can be used in borders, rock gardens, or as a ground cover. The plant is deer-resistant and can be easily grown from seed or transplants. The attractive flowers and grass-like foliage make it a beautiful addition to any garden or landscape.

Native Range:

Western spiderwort's native range includes many West-Central and Central States including Minnesota, where it is found in a band generally forming from the Northwest to the Southeast regions of the state. 

Standard Plant Information:

Plant Height: 10" - 24" inches

Bloom Time: May - September

Preferred Habitat: Does well in part shade to full sun in dry sandy soil. Often found in prairies and woodland edges.


For most homeowners, the best option is to scatter seed on the ground by hand broadcasting at a minimum of 16-64 pls ounces per acre.  For even coverage, we recommend that you broadcast seed in perpendicular rows across the site to ensure even coverage.

You’ll want to broadcast any grass seed first, which will get raked into the soil lightly. Next, it is ideal to mulch the area lightly with either a clean (no seed) straw or preferably with our native Little Bluestem straw, sold at our retail garden centers. After a light mulching is complete, now it’s time to broadcast your native wildflower seeds, which should not be raked into the soil. A good rain or watering is sufficient to cover the seed.


Simply dig a hole in the soil slightly larger than the plant’s roots. Ensure that the soil line of the plant is maintained during the transfer (i.e. the plant should be at the same level with the ground as it was in the pot). Pack any loose dirt back around the plant and make sure you water it well the same day to ensure it has the best chance of survival.

maps used with permission from MN Wildflowers

Tradescantia occidentalis Gallery

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