Spiderwort

Tim Devine

Central Pennsylvania, United States

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Artist's Description

Finding this spiderwort in bloom on our hike a Tucquan Glen was such a nice surprise. We’ve hiked there many times before, but not this time of the year. I always like finding a new wildflower that I haven’t photographed before.

Ohio Spiderwort (Tradescantia ohiensis) is a perennial plant about 2-4’ tall and mostly unbranched, except toward the apex. The central stem is round, glabrous, and occasionally glaucous. The grey- or blue-green alternate leaves are up to 15" long and 1" across. They are linear, although wider at the base, where the leaves wrap around the stem in sheaths, than at the tip. They are also glabrous, with parallel venation and smooth margins, tending to bend downward towards the middle.

The light violet to blue-violet flowers occur in a small cluster on hairless flowering stems at the top of the plant. Underneath each inflorescence are 2 small bracts, each up to 3" long and less than ½" across. Each flower is about 1" across, with 3 rounded petals, 6 bright yellow anthers, and fine spidery violet hairs near the base. The flowers open up during the morning and close by the afternoon in sunny weather, but remain open longer on cloudy days. There is no floral scent. The blooming period occurs from late spring to mid-summer, and lasts about 1½ months, during which time only a few flowers are in bloom at the same time. The mature seed capsules split into 3 sections, each capsule releasing 3-6 oval to oblong, brown seeds. The root system is thick, fleshy, and fibrous, sending off occasional offshoots nearby.

Tucquan Glen is a 338.15 acre nature preserve containing a tributary to the Susquehanna River. This area, located in Martic Township, is one of the most popular natural areas in Lancaster County. The first parcel of the Tucquan Glen Nature Preserve was a 97 acre acquired in 1983. Since that time, the Conservancy has acquired many more parcels to add to the preserve. This is perhaps the most pristine and scenic of the seven ravines which open into the Susquehanna River in this area. A rhododendron and hemlock canopied trail follows Tucquan Creek from River Road to the Susquehanna River. The initial two-thirds of this glen is beautiful and peaceful; the lower glen is wild and rugged.

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Canon 5D
Voigtländer SL Macro APO-Lanthar 125mm
1/320 @ f/8 (ISO 400)
Single RAW capture converted through DxO

Taken 5/21/11 at Tucquan Glen Nature Preserve near Holtwood Pennsylvania

Plant description taken from excerpts of Illinois wildflower website.

Artwork Comments

  • Sharon Batdorf
  • Tim Devine
  • Joy Watson
  • Tim Devine
  • lorilee
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