Ever wanted to have your own radiation detector? Well, maybe you’ve already got one, right out in your garden or in the woods nearby. Tradescantia, also known as spiderwort, is one such item. The species pictured here is our native, T.virginiana. See the tiny blue hairs that coat the stamens? In some Tradescantia species — possibly including this one — the hairs turn pink in the presence of low levels of ionizing radiation. Named for 17th-century British naturalists John Tradescant the Elder and his son the Younger, Tradescantia is a member of the dayflower family. Another well-known Tradescantia is Wandering Jew, which is often sold in hanging baskets.