• synonyms


[spahy-der-wurt, -wawrt]
  1. any plant of the genus Tradescantia, having blue, purple, or rose-colored flowers.
  2. any of several related plants.
Show More

Origin of spiderwort

First recorded in 1590–1600; spider + wort2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for spiderwort

Historical Examples

  • There are four families of the order, the spiderwort belonging to the highest one, Commelyneæ.

    Elements of Structural and Systematic Botany

    Douglas Houghton Campbell

  • The spiderwort was a rich blue with its two large petals rounded, while the third one was tiny and colorless.

    Girl Scouts in the Adirondacks

    Lillian Elizabeth Roy

  • Among the best for this purpose are the spiderwort (Tradescantia) and Scilla.

British Dictionary definitions for spiderwort


  1. any of various plants of the American genus Tradescantia, esp T. virginiana, having blue, purplish, or pink flowers and widely grown as house plants: family CommelinaceaeSee also tradescantia
  2. any of various similar or related plants
Show More

Word Origin

C17: so called because of the spidery shape of its stamens
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012