spiderwort, common name for some members of the Commelinaceae, a family of tropical and subtropical succulent herbs found especially in Africa and the Americas. Species of the spiderworts (genus Tradescantia ) and the dayflowers (genus Commelina ) are indigenous to the United States, particularly in the Southeast. They are sometimes cultivated as ornamentals. The family is classified in the division Magnoliophyta , class Liliopsida, order Commelinales.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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