Photo of the Week – February 18, 2011

Do you recognize this common prairie wildflower?

Ohio spiderwort flower preparing to open.

Spiderwort is a common wildflower in many prairies.  The species goes by many names – often related to its stringy gooey sap.  Snotweed is one of my favorites, but my 4th grade son’s favorite is “cow slobber” (although he likes “snotweed” too, of course).

The species shown here is Ohio Spiderwort (aka “bluejacket”), which can be found throughout most of eastern North America.  I find spiderworts to be particularly photogenic flowers, and consequently have a lot more photos of them than I probably need.  However, this shot is a little different from the rest because the flower is just starting to open, and it shows the underside of the petals as they’re unfolding from the bud.


About Chris Helzer

Chris Helzer is the Director of Science for The Nature Conservancy in Nebraska. His main role is to evaluate and capture lessons from the Conservancy’s land management and restoration work and then share those lessons with other landowners – both private and public. In addition, Chris works to raise awareness about the importance of prairies and their conservation through his writing, photography, and presentations to various groups. Chris is also the author of "The Ecology and Management of Prairies in the Central United States", published by the University of Iowa Press. He lives in Aurora, Nebraska with his wife Kim and their children.
This entry was posted in General, Prairie Natural History, Prairie Photography, Prairie Plants and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Photo of the Week – February 18, 2011

  1. Helena James says:

    Seems like way too pretty a flower to be called ‘snotweed’.

  2. James C. Trager says:

    I thought this was going to be a quiz. Obviously Tradescantia mucosa. :)

  3. Mel says:

    Very nice, Chris. Those bluish-purple colors are really hard to capture. Many digital sensors don’t respond well to them. I like the light – cloudy day?

  4. Brian says:

    I’m trying to locate a photo of snot weed aka spiderwort that shows the “snot.” Any ideas where to find one? I wish I would have taken one when I have seen this awesome plant. Thanks!


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