When I found these pretty purple flowers on the trail by our lake, I had no idea what they were. After looking them up and learning they are called spiderwort, the first thing I wanted to know was how they got such an odd name.
One explanation I found says the name comes from the viscous, threadlike substance the plant secretes when its stem is cut (it resembles spider silk). Or, the name might come from the plant’s flowers, which only bloom for a short time before wilting into a waxlike mess that can be pulled into threads like a spiderweb.
I’m not sure if either of those explanation are correct, but now that I know these are very short-lived flowers, I’m really glad I got to see them in full bloom.