My Favorite “Weed!”


Spiderwort (Tradescantia ohiensis)

All weeds are not created equal. Some of them are noxious, annoying, ugly things that take over your flower beds and make you shake your fist at the sky and use words no really nice gardener would use. At least not in public.  Others are much nicer to find popping up here and there. If I like how they look, or think birds and butterflies will like them, and I don’t need the space for anything else, they get to stay in my garden. Probably my favorite of these would be spiderwort. I love the beautiful blue blooms, and even the foliage is nice, looking very much like strappy daylily leaves. This picture doesn’t do the blue color justice. It isn’t nearly this purple, but more of a real, true blue, which isn’t all that common in the garden. That’s probably why I like it so much.

I think weeds and wildflowers are often under-appreciated, and give a garden a sense of being more like a meadow.  Do you have any that you allow to remain in your beds?

13 thoughts on “My Favorite “Weed!”

  1. No, Marcia; we don’t have any so pretty as this..! What a beautiful colour. I’d be leaving it in my garden too, should it grow…
    I agree with you; some of the nicest plants/flowers are of the ‘weed’ variety… Shame..! 😉

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  2. Hi, Carolyn! Nice to see you today. Aw, it’s a shame you don’t have any spiderwort. (Don’t you love the name, too?) Maybe it’s just cause it’s not in your neighborhood. Various types of it grow throughout a large part of the country. It even comes in other colors, though most of those are cultivated varieties. This one is the one that grows wild in Florida. Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. Always nice to hear from you.


      • Yep, and there are cultivated varieties sold here, too. T. virginiana grows a bit farther north than T. ohiensis, but they look pretty much the same, to me. Not quite sure what the difference would be, but virginiana is a native in parts of the U. S. too.

        We have been seeing some native Australian plants popping up in nurseries here in recent years. Kangaroo paws, and a little shrub with tiny burgundy leaves and pink flowers…some kind of “tea” in the name, I think. Are those native where you are?


        • The Kangaroo Paw is Western Australia’s (State) floral emblem…. I can’t think what the burgundy leafed/pink flowered plant may be… Let me think on it..! 😉

          I planted a Tibouchina a few months back and yesterday saw its first bloom… I was absolutely blown away..! All the literature I’d read said the first two years are for establishing itself, then it would commence to grow…. I’m so chuffed… Gardening can be so rewarding…! 🙂


  3. I agree, Carolyn. Gardening is so good for the soul. It’s exuberating and contemplative and fits every mood you might have. You know, I think the burgundy thing might be sold here as something as simple as Australian Tea Tree, but that’s probably a total misnomer. It may not even come from Australia at all. I’m glad to know Kangaroo paw does. It’s an interesting plant, but I’ve never tried it.

    Now tibouchina is fabulous, and I have grown them. Sadly, our winters have been cold enough lately that they freeze. They try to come back, but don’t get big enough in one year to make it through the next freeze. But they are just stunning trees. Several varieties with different sized leaves are sold at local nurseries. I’m a sucker for any “feminine” looking plant or tree with purple flowers. I love the velvety leaves on tibouchina, too.


  4. Such a pretty weed. I am sadly ignorant when it comes to plants (and weeds). I usually just plant in pots and stick to the same few plants each year. But I’d like to learn! And I think I know who my teacher will be …. 🙂


  5. We have California poppies. They are beautiful bright orange. On the side we should sell opium, but we haven’t figured that out yet. One or two of our neighbors seem to have a proliferation of “The Weed.” They have moved away quickly leaving 184 pot plants. (They had a visit from an official that Vince called, – and then, more convincingly, another dealer-type living in our quiet neighborhood was shot and killed – age 30). At about 17 pounds of leaves per plant, that’s a pretty profitable plant. Another neighbor said that 30 years ago that would have been about $1,600 – per plant. Can you imagine what it is now??? There are some downsides living in an area where the land is so fertile that everything grows.


  6. I wouldn’t ever call the beautiful California poppies (Eschscholzia) a weed. They are fabulous! As for that other thing…well, I didn’t exactly have that one in mind, either! 😀 It does grow well here in Florida, I’m told, but I’ve never seen it in the wild, at least…or at my neighbor’s house.


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