Tradescantia hirsuticaulis Small - Hairy Spiderwort

Tradescantia hirsuticaulis plant

Family - Commelinaceae

Stems:

Tradescantia hirsuticaulis stem

Leaves:

Tradescantia hirsuticaulis leaf baseLeaf sheath.

Inflorescence:

N/A

Flowers:

Tradescantia hirsuticaulis flower

Tradescantia hirsuticaulis calyx

Flowering - April - June.

Habitat - Dry woods, rock outcrops.

Origin - Native to North America.

Other information - This species can be found scattered throughout Alabama. The plant is easy to identify becasue of its hirsute stems, narrow leaves, and blue flowers. The calices have both glandular and non-glandular trichomes. T. hirsuticaulis is not nearly as common as other members in the genus.
The species epithet hirsuticaulis derives from the Latin "hirsut" meaning "hairy, rough" and "caul(is)" meaning "a stem, stalk" referring to the hairy stems of the species.
The genus name Tradescantia is given in honor of John (the elder) Tradescant (ca 1570's - 1638) of England. Tradescant was head gardener to the Earl of Salisbury and he traveled much to collect new and interesting plants. His collection of plants and other curious objects became the first public museum in England - the Musaeum Tradescantianum. Tradescant and his son John (the younger) introduced many plants into cultivation and most are still mainstays of gardening world-wide.

Alabama Distribution:

Tradescantia hirsuticaulis map

Photographs taken at Bibb County Glades, AL., 5-1-05.


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