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Sometime after 1600 John Tradescant the Elder of England received this eastern North American native from a friend who "brought it out of Virginia." Tradescant recorded blue, white, and pink flowered sorts occurring in his garden at Lambeth, known as the "Ark." During the mid-eighteenth century Philip Miller suggested planting Spiderworts in large shady borders where the flowers would last longer. Philadelphia nurseryman Bernard McMahon recommended dividing in September the "Virginian Spiderwort" in his American Gardener's Calendar of 1806. Like all members of the Commelina family, each individual flower lasts only one day.