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Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

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Prairie Wildflowers and Grasses of North Dakota

Summer Wildflowers

Harold Umber photo: Spiderwort
Harold Umber
(Tradescania spp.)

Distribution: southern half of state
Habitat: moist prairie, road ditches, and light-textured soils
Flowers: most often lavender and about the size of a quarter
Height: 4-16 inches
Blooms: late May to early August
Family name: Spiderwort (Commelinaceae)
Plant uses and other interesting facts: Two species exist: the Bracted spiderwort (T. bracteata) and the Prairie spiderwort (T. occidentalis). The main difference being the width of their leaves. When stems are broken a stringy substance appears resembling a spider web. Plains Indian ate entire plant in salads or cooked.

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