Purple is the color of the week in my garden.
Oh sure, there’s yellow, red, and orange too, all vying for attention with their look at me! petals and am I not gorgeous? spring-green foliage. But it’s the purple array of Spiderwort–demonstrating pollinator-driven color and petal variations–that is stealing the wildflower show at this moment in my March garden.
Some Spiderwort flowers are darker and suggest an affinity for geometric arrangements.
Other Spiderwort flowers trend pink, though purple is definitely a part of the petal pedigree.
Still other Spiderwort are shy and soft in color, with hint of blue and only a suggestion of exhibitionist purple.
The pollinators are busy, busy, busy and Spiderwort blooms are a favorite dining spot! This diminutive syrphid fly caught my attention as I was chasing a significantly larger butterfly. I failed at photographing the butterfly, but I followed the syrphid, or flower fly, as it visited several Spiderwort blooms. The syrphid was a work-horse pollinator at the flowers, spending more time at each bloom than the flighty butterfly.
Part of the honey for next season will come from this Spiderwort and its farming honeybee.
Check out Ms. Honeybee’s pollen pantaloons. The proper name for this part of the honeybee is pollen basket or corbicula, but I prefer my own addition to bee etymology: pollen pantaloon.
Purple reigns in the garden, though it–in the form of Spiderwort–hasn’t quite taken over. If I want a diverse garden community next year, I’ll need to cull a fair number of these randy Spiderwort plants–they’re rather a promiscuous bunch! That’s fine, I’ll be donating some to plant swaps and cajoling neighbors into planting some of my extras. (But will those neighbors ever speak to me again, after they, too, reap the bounty of Spiderwort?)
Spiderwort: a reign of purple and a prince of flowers.