14 Jan Wandering Jew (Trad)
Tradescantia albiflora, T. zebrina, T. spathecea
This shade loving, weak rooted herb is often the cause of skin irritations in dogs. Many other forms of Tradescantia are well known garden plants including the popular “Moses in the cradle” (Rhoeo).
Origin: South America
Habit: Weak, perennial, creeping succulent herb, rooting from distinct nodes. Grows vigorously, layering and smothering low native ground covers. Shade tolerant and moisture loving.
Leaves: Simple, alternate, ovate leaves that are glossy and dark green, to 6cm long. Slightly fleshy.
Flowers: Small (1-2cm) white flowers, with three petals and six hairy stamens. Spring-Summer.
Fruit: Papery capsule, seed not viable in Australia.
Roots: Stolons form underground, with weak, shallow roots forming at nodes.
Dispersal: Main method of reproduction is vegetative where by stem fragments re-root. Stem fragments spread by water, and contaminated soil (green waste dumping, earth moving etc). Common in watercourses.
Control: Hand pull/dig, bagging all plant parts and removing from site. Foliar spray.
Similar native species: Commelina cyanea (pic. bottom R). This native ground cover has hairy leaf sheaths, blue flowers and a strong primary root system.