(Plate LVII)




Blue, with orange-yellow anthers.




South and west.

Time of Bloom


Flowers: growing in a loose umbel at the end of the flower-stalks. Calyx: of three sepals. Corolla: of three, rounded, irregular petals; the odd one very small. Stamens: six; the filaments prettily bearded; anthers conspicuous. Pistil: one. Leaves: opposite; lanceolate to linear; clasping. Stem: erect; fleshy; mucilaginous.

The spiderwort is a fair blue flower, and its golden anthers have such a lively expression that we are constantly expecting them to say something funny to us; but they never do. Perhaps they have not the time, as like the day flower they live but for a single day.

Just before the recurved buds in the umbels make up their minds to bloom, they erect themselves and remain in that position until their petals have faded, when they bend down again and the seeds mature. Under a microscope the jointed hairs of the stamens and the miraculously attached anthers reveal a world of unexpected and interesting beauty.