Tradescantia spathacea


Prodr. 57. 1788.

Common names: Moses-in-the-cradle oyster-plant boat-lily
Synonyms: Rhoeo discolor (L'Héritier) Hance ex Walpers Rhoeo spathacea (Swartz) Stearn
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 22.

Herbs, erect or ascending, rarely rooting at nodes. Stems unbranched, short. Leaves spirally arranged; blade usually abaxially purple, adaxially green, strap-shaped, to 35 × 5 cm (distal leaf blades wider or narrower than sheaths when sheaths opened, flattened), leathery, succulent, glabrous. Inflorescences axillary, sessile, or pedunculate in axils well below shoot apex, cymes enclosed in pairs of boat-shaped spathes. Flowers distinctly pedicillate; pedicels glabrous; sepals distinct, white, 3–6 mm, glabrous; petals distinct, white, ovate, not clawed; stamens free; filaments bearded. Capsules 3- or (by abortion) 2-locular, 3–4 mm. Seeds 1 per locule, 3–4 mm. 2n = 12 (Belize).

Phenology: Flowering winter (Jan).
Habitat: Occasionally escaped to hammocks and weedy places


V22 587-distribution-map.jpg

Introduced; Fla., Mexico, West Indies, Central America.


Tradescantia spathacea is native to southern Mexico, Central America, and the West Indies.

Selected References


Lower Taxa

... more about "Tradescantia spathacea"
Robert B. Faden +
Swartz +
Moses-in-the-cradle +, oyster-plant +  and boat-lily +
Fla. +, Mexico +, West Indies +  and Central America. +
Occasionally escaped to hammocks and weedy places +
Flowering winter (Jan). +
Weedy +  and Introduced +
Rhoeo discolor +  and Rhoeo spathacea +
Tradescantia spathacea +
Tradescantia +
species +