This is the Mountain Spiderwort, Tradescantia subaspera Ker-Gawl. var. montana, . It gets its name because the angular leaf arrangement looks kinda like a squatting spider.This shot was taken on the Balsam Mountain and Heintooga Ridge Road in the Great Smoky Mountains
The Cherokee and other Native American tribes used Virginia spiderwort for various food and medicinal purposes. The young leaves were eaten as salad greens or were mixed with other greens and then either fried or boiled until tender. The plant was mashed and rubbed onto insect bites to relieve pain and itching. A paste, made from the mashed roots, was used as a poultice to treat cancer. A tea made from the plant was used as a laxative and to treat stomachaches associated with overeating. Virginia spiderwort was one of the seven ingredients in a tea used to treat “female ailments or rupture.” It was also combined with several other ingredients in a medicine for kidney trouble.