Species of Tradescantia, or spiderworts, are handsome plants. Several wild species, including the VNPS wildflower of the Year for 2008 (T. virginiana), can be found in eastern North America and additional species grace gardens, and hothouse conservatories. Spiderworts are not, however, just a bunch of pretty faces. Spiderworts have a long history of service to science, both in terms of teaching and pure research.
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Hayden, W. John. "Spiderworts: Not Just Another Pretty Face for Science." Bulletin of the Virginia Native Plant Society 27, no. 3 (July 2008): 1, 5, 8.