Does anyone know what this plant is?

Shirlee m
by Shirlee m
It was my grandfather's favorite flower. We have handed it down through generations. We call it the purple flower plant.
Has thick lily-like leaves. Small purple-blue flowers.
  23 answers
  • Donna Demmers Donna Demmers on Apr 07, 2015
    Spiderwort---it also comes in white.
    • Sandi Inman Sandi Inman on Apr 07, 2015
      @Donna Demmers They are Spiderwort.. I didnt know they came in white. We have plenty growing wild here in North Carolina , all purple tho.
  • Carri Carri on Apr 07, 2015
    If they are about 6" high, I received a few of them just yesterday from a lady that sells day lillies, and I think she called them "wood lilies"
  • Teri Teri on Apr 07, 2015
    Spiderwort, I have them.
  • Randi Randi on Apr 07, 2015
    spiderwort. Be careful these spread like crazy and will take over your beds.
  • Michele Walker Michele Walker on Apr 07, 2015
    Spiderwort. Very invasive.
  • Lee Cunningham Green Lee Cunningham Green on Apr 07, 2015
    they grow wild in Florida, so i guess they are invasive. I think they are very pretty though.
  • SusieQStamps SusieQStamps on Apr 08, 2015
    Spiderwort comes in hot pink too! Put down a barrier wherever you plant them to keep them from taking over. They are wild things!
  • Paula p Paula p on Apr 08, 2015
    the thing I love about them is they close up at night and open up in the sun light I have a dark purple or blue. Never had it spread until I put in another flower bed and has went wild so would be great in a container and I live in Michigan when it gets dry the die down and come back the next spring. My dad gave me mine about 40 years ago.,
  • Colleen Reilly Colleen Reilly on Apr 08, 2015
    Spiderwort, also known as Blue Shadow. Easy to grow from cuttings.
  • Trish A Trish A on Apr 08, 2015
    These look great when they bloom, but they get very leggy and messy looking in the heat of summer. Also, agree with the view that they can really take over the garden.
  • San192782 San192782 on Apr 08, 2015
    Spiderwort, they come in white, purple and pink. In Ct. they come up in the late spring and are an very pretty
  • Stevie.powers Stevie.powers on Apr 08, 2015
    THat is called a spider wort plant and comes on the purple pink white.I trade off my plants and have quite a fewdifferent ones must be planted in the sun for excellent tesults
  • Dina Kayda Dina Kayda on Apr 09, 2015
    When I asked what that plant was they told me It was called widow's tears...kind of sad
  • Busyasabee57 Busyasabee57 on Apr 09, 2015
    Spiderwort. If you have these, and you brush up against them, they will stain your clothes and skin. They multiply like crazy, from small bulbs, and are impossible to get rid of. We bought our house 29 years ago and the previous owners had them planted along the back walk down to the driveway. Every year I am digging some out. They are beautiful in a bouquet with their long trailing leaves, Just be careful that the petals don't touch your walls or anything that could stain.
  • Growing up we called them snot weed because when picked, they leak a snotty liquid from their stem. I love them and have them in my back yard. I can't grow grass where I have them so I love that they grow and hold the hilly area in place! Plus they are pretty in flower arrangements.
  • Sherrie Slaboda Sherrie Slaboda on Feb 20, 2016
    Here in Florida it is a wild plant that is difficult to get rid of.
  • Dfm Dfm on Feb 21, 2016
    here in iowa it's fairly well behaved... made a nice ground cover for the hill at house no.2, and a nice no mow zone by the chain link fence at house no. 1. here at house no didn't survive : (
  • Sandy Sandy on Feb 22, 2016
    They are honeybee heaven when blooming in the morning. If they sprout where you don't want them just dig them out.
  • Spiderwort. It can be invasive.

  • Deb K Deb K on Jun 05, 2023

    Hi Shirley, hope this helps. It is an Ohio Spiderwort

  • Mogie Mogie on Jun 07, 2023

    Some gardeners have successfully kept their plants under control by physically pulling them out of the ground. Other gardeners are frustrated as they continually see more and more plants appearing.

    These plants self-seed prolifically. It is important to remove each spent blossom before it can set seed.

    As soon as the leaves decline and spent blossoms have been removed, cut the plant down. Do not mow over these plants as that just encourages more plants to form.

    Despite all your efforts to discourage germination of any seeds, you may still find some sprouting. Remove them and carefully weed the area. Non-living mulch such as straw or hay should be spread over the site. It has been my experience when discouraging any kind of weed it is wise to spread several layers of newspapers or a sheet of black plastic first before the mulch.

    Some spiderwort plants may pop up in locations such as crevices where mulch cannot be applied. Some folks have successfully eradicated the plants by pouring boiling water on them.

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Feb 11, 2024

    Moses in the Bull rushes is the common name!

  • Betsy Betsy on Feb 11, 2024

    Hi Shirlee: I agree with the others, it's a Spiderwort. Here are 2 site athat tell about them, and please note that they are toxic to people and pets. How to Grow and Care for Spiderwort ( -- How to Plant and Grow Spiderwort (