The early settlers
thought that the filaments on the blossom looked like spider
webs. Another common name is 'cow-slobber' because the
stem contains a slimy substance.
- The old
English word for healing herb is 'wort.' This gives a hint
that the plant was used in traditional herbal medicine.
- The scientific name
is in honor of John Tradescant, who was the head gardener
for Charles I of England.
- Tradescantia's flowers can be dark blue, light blue, pink or
white. In all cases, the blossoms last for a single day.
seeds are edible when roasted though they are bitter.
The leaves and flowers can be added to salads and soups.
powdered leaves were once used to stop nosebleeds.
(Photo credits: Kansas State
University Wildflower Archive)