Creeping Christian, green wandering Jew, inch plant, inch-plant, small leaf spiderwort, small-leaf spiderwort, spider wort, spider-wort, spiderwort, trad, wanderer, wandering creeper, wandering Jew, wandering trad, wandering tradescantia, wandering Willie, water spiderwort, white flowered wandering Jew, white-flowered wandering Jew
This species has been cultivated as a garden ornamental, particularly in the cooler and wetter parts of the country. A form with variegated leaves (i.e. Tradescantia fluminensis ‘Variegata’) has been particularly popular in cultivation. It has leaves with white, cream or yellowish-coloured stripes.
Widely naturalised in southern and eastern Australia (i.e. in eastern Queensland, eastern New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, south-eastern South Australia and south-western Western Australia). Also naturalised on Lord Howe Island.
Widely naturalised overseas in southern Europe (e.g. Portugal and Italy), the Canary Islands, southern Africa (i.e. South Africa and Swaziland), temperate Asia (e.g. Russia and Japan), New Zealand, the Galápagos Islands, Hawaii and southern USA (i.e. California, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana and Kentucky).
Grows well in forests, forest margins, urban bushland, open woodlands, riparian vegetation, roadsides, ditches, waste areas, disturbed sites and gardens. It prefers damp and shaded areas in temperate and sub-tropical regions, but will also grow in more open habitats and in tropical regions
The stems are somewhat fleshy (i.e. semi-succulent) in nature, branched, and produce roots (i.e. adventitious roots) at each of the swollen joints (i.e. nodes).
The glossy leaves are alternately arranged and their bases form short sheaths (5-10 mm long) around the creeping stems. The somewhat fleshy (i.e. semi-succulent) leaf blades (3-6.5 cm long and 1-3 cm wide) are dark green on top and often slightly purplish underneath. They may be either broadly lance-shaped (i.e. lanceolate), egg-shaped in outline (i.e. ovate), or oblong with entire margins and pointed tips (i.e. acute apices). Leaf sheaths can be either hairy (i.e. pubescent) or hairless (i.e. glabrous), while the leaf blades are hairless, or occasionally with some small hairs (i.e. cilia) along their margins.
The flowers (about 2 cm across) are borne in small clusters near the tips of the branches. Each cluster has two small leafy bracts at the base and the individual flowers are borne on stalks (i.e. pedicels) 1-1.5 cm long. They have three white petals (7-10 mm long) with pointed tips (i.e. acute apices), three greenish sepals (6-8 mm long), and six small yellow stamens. Flowering occurs mainly during spring and summer.
This plant only reproduces vegetatively in Australia, by producing roots at the joints (i.e. nodes) of stems that come into contact with the soil (i.e. stolons).
Trad (Tradescantia fluminensis) can be easily confused with the native aneilema (Aneilema biflorum ). It is also relatively similar to native wandering Jew (Commelina diffusa ), hairy wandering Jew (Commelina benghalensis ) and zebrina (Tradescantia zebrina). These species can be distinguished by the following differences:
MORE RELATED HERE