Tradescantia ozarkana Anders. & Woods. - Ozark Spiderwort

Tradescantia ozarkana plant

Family - Commelinaceae

Stems - To +50cm tall, simple, from thickened roots, herbaceous, glabrous to hirsute, glaucous, somewhat succulent.

Leaves - Alternate, sheathing at base, to -30cm long, +/-4cm broad, glaucous above and below (less so above), glabrous, ciliate margined, narrowly lanceolate.

Tradescantia ozarkana plant

Inflorescence - Terminal, bracteate, umbellate cymes of +/-15 flowers. Pedicels +/-3cm long, glandular pilose, strongly recurving in fruit.

Flowers - Petals 3, white to pink or lilac, glabrous, broadly ovate, +/-2cm long and broad, distinct. Stamens 6. Filaments 3mm long, white, with dense multicellular hairs attached mostly in lower half, (hairs longer than filament). Anthers yellow, 2mm broad, 1mm long. Style 1, glabrous, 2-3mm long. Ovary superior, 3-locular, (one ovule per locule), with erect gland-tipped hairs on summit. Sepals 3, ovate, acute, glandular pilose externally, glabrous internally, +/-8mm long, 4mm broad, free, accrescent.

Tradescantia ozarkana calyxCalyx.

Tradescantia ozarkana flower

Flowering - April - May.

Habitat - Slopes, woods, bluff ledges.

Origin - Native to U.S.

Other info. - This is a nice plant because it's not the usual T. ohiensis, which, while striking, is very common.
T. ozarkana can have variably colored flowers. I also photographed this pinkish-lilac colored flower:

Tradescantia ozarkana flower

The stems are typically glabrous but the white flowered plants shown above all had hirsute stems. In the "Flora of Missouri" Steyermark writes that he found plants with hirsute (densely pubescent) stems in Taney County, which is where these photographs were taken. Julian Steyermark was the man.
The plant can be found in rich, rocky areas of the habitats mentioned above.

Photographs taken in the Hercules Glade Wilderness, Mark Twain National Forest, Taney County, MO., 4-28-00.


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