Spiderwort, the common name of a genus of about 100 species of perennial, herbaceous plants of temperate and tropical America. Some spiderwort plants grow upright, while stems of others trail along the ground. All spiderworts, however, are weak-stemmed. Their leaves may be oval or long and narrow. Spiderwort flowers may be white or shades of red or blue. They are usually borne in clusters. Each flower has three petals and six hairy, spidery-looking stamens. Some spiderworts are cultivated for ornamentation in the garden and as houseplants. They are not used as cut flowers because their delicate blossoms wilt quickly if picked.
The common spiderwort is a wild flower and is also grown as a garden plant. It is an upright plant, which grows one to three feet (30 to 90 cm) in height. The long, thin, grasslike leaves are from 6 to 15 inches (15 to 38 cm) in length and slightly less than one inch (2.5 cm) in width. In early summer, clusters of blue-violet flowers are borne atop the stems. Another well known spiderwort plant is the wandering Jew, a creeping, ovalleaved plant with trailing stems.
Spiderworts make up the genus Tradescantia of the spiderwort family, Commelinaceae. The common spiderwort is T. virginiana.