Spiderwort is a grow-anywhere plant – in wet or dry soil, in full sun or partial shade, the three-petalled flowers begin to appear in early summer and the floral display continues until autumn. The silky petals surrounding the showy stamens are open for only a day, but the clusters of buds in each flower-head ensure a continuous succession of flowers. Purple is the usual colour but there are named varieties in white, pink, blue, mauve and violet. The leaves are sword-shaped, 1 ft tall and attractive to slugs in the spring. An easy plant – supply the ideal conditions of moist soi and partial shade if you can, support the stems and cut back to ground level in late autumn.

VARIETIES: There is a single species-T.virginiana(T.andersoniana). The basic details are height 1.5-2 ft. Spacing 1.5 ft.

Flowering period: June-September. Popular varieties include ‘Leonora’ (violet-blue), ‘Osprey’ (white), ‘Isis’ (deep blue), ‘J. G. Weguelin’ (sky blue), ‘Purple Dome’ (purple) and ‘Purewell Giant’ (carmine).

SITE AND SOIL: Any reasonable garden soil will do – thrives in sun or partial shade.

PROPAGATION: Divide clumps in autumn or spring.

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