Tradescantia 'Sweet Kate'
Discovered by Hazel Stevens in her garden in Kent, UK, as a chance sport beneath her apple tree, she named it after her daughter and asked for all her royalties to go to the McIndoe Burns Unit, a charity that cared for badly burned airmen after WII. A slow-spreading groundcover, it is not invasive like many of its relatives, but if left in situ, Tradescantia 'Sweet Kate' will naturalise in part-shade with adequate moisture. The striking purple flowers of this compact spiderwort last for only a day, but blooming is continuous from late spring, right through summer into autumn with regular deadheading. A feature of spiderworts is the viscous secretion released when stems are cut, becoming thread-like and silky upon hardening, like a spider's web.
Sun or part shade, protected from direct hot afternoon sunlight. Drought resistant once established, but prefers moist, rich, well drained soil. Tolerates wet and boggy conditions. Deadhead regularly to improve flowering, remove damaged foliage and cut back to ground level after flowering finishes or once frost threat passes to promote fresh growth.