THARP'S SPIDERWORT
File Size: 93 KB
 
Tradescantia tharpii  Anders. & Woods.
Russell County, Kansas
Perennial
Height: 1-12 inches
Family: Commelinaceae - Spiderwort Family
Flowering Period:   March, April, May
Also Called: Short-stem spiderwort.
Stems: Erect, rarely branched, 1 to 4 inches tall when flowering, to 12 inches tall in fruit, soft hairy; nodes 1 or 2; internodes to 3.2 inches long.
Leaves: Alternate, simple, not waxy, linear-lanceolate, 6 to 12 inches long, to 1 inch wide, densely covered with long, soft hairs; margins entire, often rose-purple or translucent.
Inflorescences: Cymes, umbel-like, many-flowered, terminal; bracts grass-like, to 10 inches long, 1 inch wide, soft hairy.
Flowers: Stalks 1.5 to 2.5 inches long, soft hairy, rose colored; sepals 3, broadly elliptic, 1/2 to 3/5 inch long, usually rose colored, soft-hairy, tips pointed; corollas about 1 inch wide, purplish blue or deep rose; petals 3, broadly ovate; stamens 6, filaments densely bearded.
Fruits: Capsules, rounded; seeds oblong, flattened, gray, about 1/10 inch long.
Habitat: Prairies, hillsides, thickets, and open woods, most abundant on rocky or clay soils.
Distribution: Principally central of Kansas.
Comments: Named after Benjamin Tharp, 1885-1964, a botanist at the University of Texas.
 Three other spiderworts are observed in Kansas: prairie spiderwort , bracted spiderwort , and common spiderwort .

Tharp's spiderwort petals and sepals
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Russell County, Kansas
Tharp's spiderwort infloresence
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Russell County, Kansas
Pilose hair on Tharp's spiderwort
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Russell County, Kansas
Tharp's spiderwort
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Russell County, Kansas