Dwarf Spiderwort (Wild Crocus)
A low-growing, clump-forming perennial. Flowers bright magenta, purple, or purplish blue, in clusters, with the three petals arranged in a triangular pattern; stamens 6, bearded and fluffy. Blooms April-May. Leaves basal, irregularly hairy, grasslike, wide, with a crease along the center vein.
Similar species: There are 8 species of spiderwort in the Missouri flora, plus several documented hybrids that display characteristics of more than one species. This species has been known to hybridize with smooth spiderwort (T. ohioensis). Another species, Virginia spiderwort (T. virginiana), occurs in many of the same areas as dwarf spiderwort. It is only sparsly hairy (if at all) and grows to 16 inches high. It, too, can hybridize with smooth spiderwort.