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Tradescantia fluminensis

Pronunciation: trad-es-KAN-tee-uh floo-min-EN-sis
Family: Commelinaceae
Common Name: Green Wandering Jew, Small Leaf Spiderwort, White-flowered Wandering Jew, Inch Plant, Speedy Jenny
Plant Type:
  • perennial
  • succulent and cactus
Height to: 6in (15cm)
Width to: 8in (20cm)
USDA Hardiness Zones:
  • 30 to 20ºF ZONE 9
  • 40 to 30ºF ZONE 10
  • 50 to 40ºF ZONE 11
Sun Exposure:
  • part sun
  • full sun
Bloom Season:
  • early spring
  • late summer
Bloom Description: The little white three petaled flowers of Small Leaf Spiderwort (Tradescantia fluminensis) appear in clusters at the stem tips from spring through fall. The three part capsules contain pitted black seed
Soil Type: prefers rich organic soil, but it will root directly into bark mulch or survive in poor sandy soil if watered sufficiently
Plant Perks:
  • Suitable for Houseplant
  • Easy to Grow/Ideal for Children
  • Container Gardening
Pests and Diseases: Viruses, aphids, spider mites
Propagation: Small Leaf Spiderwort (Tradescantia fluminensis) does not commonly reproduce from seed, but it roots readily from stem fragments, so long as each piece of stem includes at least one node. It is easily propagated from cuttings at any time of the year and can be rooted in soil or water.
Native to: subtropical regions of Brazil and Argentina, where it is regarded as an agricultural pest. It has naturalized in Florida from the central peninsula to
Notes for Identification:

Small Leaf Spiderwort (Tradescantia fluminensis) is a trailing groundcover plant with succulent stems. The glossy forest-green to parrot-green parallel-veined leaves are oblong to ovate with pointed tips. They are generally 1-2.5 in (2.5-6.4 cm) long and 1-1.5 in (2.5-2.8 cm) wide and may be subtly striped with darker green or tinged with purple on the underside. Sometimes the leaves are slightly puckered with a seersucker texture. They emerge alternately from fuzzy margined closed sheaths that encircle the stem at the nodes.  This plant is often confused with smaller-leaved Callisia species and is sometimes not distinguished from other, less common, species of Tradescantia.

WARNING!! This is an extremely invasive species! Turn your back on it and it will eat your greenhouse! But you can't tear it out and throw in the woods or it is liable to cause damaging environmental problems. In natural areas, the overlapping stems can form a 2-ft-deep blanket over the forest floor and smother other plants, thus eliminating groundcover diversity and preventing young trees from becoming established. It has become a serious pest in urban natural areas in Australia and New Zealand and it is beginning to cause similar problems in Florida, where it is listed as a Category I invasive exotic species by the Exotic Pest Plant Council. Stem fragments break off easily and float, so it is especially important to keep these plants away from streams and floodplains where storms could wash pieces downstream. Some Tradescantias may cause dermatitis in sensitive individuals, but this species has not been singled out as a problem. Dogs kept in yards with a groundcover of wandering Jew have developed rashes.

Source: Floridata - 

USDA Heat Zones (days above 86ºF):
  • Any Heat Zone 1 to 210+ Days
Located in: Succulents
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