Tucked into shady nooks along the road to town are tall bluish green stalks. Leaves hang down alternately, long and narrow with a deep crease down the center. Blue purple flowers top the stalks. These are the spiderworts.
Spiderwort doesn’t seem to grow on this property. I found one in the woods over the hill pasture one year but never saw it again. It was too dry and sunny there.
Another spiderwort tried to grow along the cow pasture road edge. That year the brush cutter came by shearing off the day lilies and the spiderwort which had opened its first flower.
Only a few really showy blue flowers grow near or on the property. Spiderwort is one. Tall blue bellflower which blooms later is the other.
Luckily a patch of spiderwort grows just down the road. A spring keeps that road edge moist. A rock outcrop shades the clump and protects it from the brush cutter.
These three petaled flowers are deep blue purple. The petals lie down almost flat to form a platter. In the center of the platter are six burnished gold stamens.
Looking closely at those stamens reveals the source of the flower’s common name. Each stamen filament is surrounded by soft purple hairs looking like small spider webs. The wort ending is an old English name meaning plant.
Like the daylilies, each spiderwort flower opens for a single day. Each stalk is topped by numerous buds so flowers open everyday for a couple of weeks.
Each day I pass this clump, I slow down and look for it even stopping to get out and admire it. That’s one of the good things about living out on a gravel road.
The other spiderwort plants line the ditch under large trees along a paved road. It’s harder to stop to see these because of traffic.
Perhaps someday the spiderwort will find a place to grow on the property. The ravines might be good places. Until then I will admire them along the road.