Tradescantia – Wandering Jew.

Family Commelinaceae > Subfamily Commelinoideae > Tribe Tradescantieae > Subtribe Tradescantiinae.

There are a 70 to 75 species, a number of which are known as Wandering Jew.
Three species are naturalised in Queensland.
Some are grown as houseplants and there are a number of hybrids.

Perennial thin-stemmed herbs growing as scramblers to somewhat erect plants.
Leaves are narrow to ovate with bases that sheath the stem.
The sheath can be short or long, and smooth or hairy.

Inflorescences are terminal or axillary with few or many flowers.
They are surrounded by 2 large, spathe or leaf-like bracts.
Flowers, on a short or no stalk, can be bright blue, purple, white or pink.

The 3 sepals are varied – green or coloured, free or joined, and they may be unequal.
There are 3 petals with one smaller than the others.
Like the sepals they can be free or with the bases joined and blue, violet, pink or white.

There are 6 fertile stamens sometimes with coloured hairs on the filaments and the anthers are yellow.
There are 3 joined carpels in the superior ovary and 3 locules each with 2 ovules.
The fruit is a capsule.