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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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