Purple Reign

Purple is the color of the week in my garden.

A purple Spiderwort flanks a potted Ghost plant (Graptopetalum paraguayense), setting the mood for a reign of purple.


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.

The petals are curling, heralding afternoon heat.


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?)

A stalk of purple passalong iris photobombs the cluster of spiderwort.  In time, this iris and  its compadres will likely  assume the mantle of purple.

Spiderwort: a reign of purple and a prince of flowers.

22 thoughts on “Purple Reign

  1. Hey, this is off topic, but did I just trash one of your earlier comments? I replied to something you said and got a weird message that the comment was trashed! I do not see your comment anymore.


  2. Purple happens to be my least favorite color, but for a while, it was the most popular for our rhododendrons! They happen to excel at purple, which makes purple fun. White, which is my favorite color, is not so fun with rhododendrons.


    • Orange has traditionally been my least favorite, but I still have plenty of it in the garden. There are two times of the year that purple is the prince of colors in my garden: now and in August. Rhododendrons–so gorgeous and all I can do is look and admire!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Flowers have a sneaky way of doing that. They make us like the colors we don’t like. There are some flowers that are at their best in certain colors. I still prefer lavender wisteria and lilac. They do not look as good in white (except where white just happens to ‘work’). Nasturtiums are best in yellow and orange, and so on.


      • That’s so true! I’ve seen cultivars that have the weirdest and most unattractive colors. I suppose someone like them, or the big ag/horticultural companies wouldn’t create them.


  3. I have a tendency to plant to the blue end of the spectrum when I can and your spiderwort is making a lovely show (a bit like verbena bonariensis). I have to say that I like the look of your irises even more though.


    • Like you, I plant the blues, though they have to prove hardy enough for me to tolerate in the garden. That iris is a great one; I have no idea what it is, but have grown it for a long time. I wish we lived closer to one another, Allison–I’d share!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Tina your photos are magnificent. The purple Spidewort with its yellow pistils is a very beautiful flower. The pinker Spideworts are gorgeous. The whitish spidewort are delicate and divine. The Spideworts besides that their flowers are beautiful, they are a delicacy for pollinators. What more can you ask for a flower! The photo of the bee I love. The view of all the purple Spideworts with the Iris of the same color is beautiful. I am very happy that it is Spring and the temperatures are pleasant. Here in Spain it is very cold. Have a nice week. Greetings from Margarita.


    • Thank you, Margarita! They are lovely early spring bloomers, I just have to make sure they don’t take over the whole garden! I do hope your weather warms soon–I’m sure you’re tired of the cold!


      • Yes, Tina, he’s absolutely right. I’m tired of so much cold. But by the end of next week, it’s more likely that another wave of cold with snow will return. The weather is crazy! But I’m glad to see his garden full of flowers and imagining the good temperature he enjoys. Greetings from Margarita.


  5. I have escaped to the hill country for the weekend, and on my way here, I was stopped dead in my tracks by a field — a huge field — of groundsel. It was fenced off and hard to photograph, but in the dirt of the road, the pretty spiderwort were everywhere, blooming in sand and caliche. Hardy, indeed! And just like yours, they ranged in color from the palest blue to the deepest purple: all in the space of a few hundred yards.

    And speaking of purple…. yes, indeed. There is mountain laurel blooming. The big treat was finding it not in city or residential plantings, but out in the country, in rocky natural areas. The plants weren’t as extravagant as well-tended ones, but it was delightful to simply come across them.


    • A whole field of groundsel–woohoo!! That’s blast of sunshine, if ever there was one! Yes, it’s been a decent year, I think, for our many native spring bloomers. I’m so glad you’re able to see a Mt. Laurel in its native habitat–I do hope you nudged the pollinators aside for a minute and stuck your nose deep into the blooms!


      • Oh it must have been glorious! I love my two Mt. Laurels, though they’ve never bloomed as fully as others that I see. Glad your Hill Country, native plants venture was a success.


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