I almost missed them as I strolled past with camera in hand. I was looking around for subjects to photograph. These Prairie Spiderwort flowers (Tradescantia occidentalis) peeked over the edge of the ditch and caught my eye in the bright sunlight. They are common in the Great Plain of the U.S., but are listed as threatened in Canada.
Prairie Spiderwort can be a bioassay for radiation. The stamen hairs are normally blue as in these photos. But, exposed them to energetic neutrons, Gamma rays, X-rays, and the higher energy ultraviolet, the hairs turn pink.
Beautiful color. These remind me of irises.
Thank you, Jim. They are about 1 1/2 ” across.
Aha. Smaller than I thought. Good lens.
There’s a Texas native called Herbertia that is about the same size and color, but which is in the iris family. It’s one of my favorites — here’s a pic.
I really like those.
We’ve got dozens upon dozens of these along our driveway. Once they arrive they never leave. Fortunately I like them although Mary Beth not as much. The flowers only last for part of the day, opening in the morning and closing later in the afternoon. The buds keep producing.
I’ll be posting one of our paler varieties in the next day or two.
Actually, I should amend that to say ours are Virginia Spiderwort, but very much kike your Prairies.
Interesting about the stamens turning pink… glad yours are purple!
Moving from the Bard to Ol’ Blue Eyes, I can’t help saying, “Two bee, two bee, duo…”
I don’t know how I landed on your blog, but I’m happy to find another spidewort-lover. I made a photo-poem on my tradescsantia andersoniana – plant and flowers, in English:
If you look into the center of the small bush of stamen hairs you see a lightgiving egg of sorts, my photo-essay is around this motof of a flower that can make light.
That is a beautiful set of photographs. You captured the flower in many poses to compliment its beauty.
I did not know there was such a group of spiderwort lovers. But, upon thinking more, it makes sense. There are those who love tulips, orchids, roses, etc. Why not the spiderwort. I am happy to be one of the members.
Thank you for stopping by to comment.