Tradescantia pexata (syn. Tradescantia sillamontana)

This species differs markedly from the better-known members of the genus Tradescantia. Most are grown in water or compost in hanging containers, but T. pexata is a succulent species from Mexico. It makes low, thick cushions 10-15 cm (4-6 in) in diameter. The individual stems are only 5-6 cm long and thickly hairy. The plant’s most ornamental feature is its foliage.The leaves are about 2 cm ( ¾ in) long, two-ranked, and surround the stem like a sheath. They are sharply keeled be neath and pointed at the tip. Their green surface is thickly covered with white hairs. The flowers have a hairy calyx composed of three sepals, three large pinkish-violet petals, and six prominent stamens with large yellow anthers and violet filaments.

It is grown in the same way as T. navicularis . It is a pity that this Tradescantia is not found in indoor cultivation as often as it deserves. Far commoner house plants are T. albif-lora with green leaves and white flowers, T. fluminensis with leaves conspicuously red beneath, and T. blossfeldiana, the red stems and the underside of the leaves of which are covered with whitish hairs.

Tradescantia navicularis

This plant is another of the three succulent species of the genus Tradescantia, which comprises about 30 species altogether. Its native habitat extends from Mexico to Peru. It is a much-branched plant with short, often rooting stems. The two-ranked leaves are sessile, arranged directly one above the other, and pointed. The surface is covered with white hairs. The plant’s specific name refers to their shape, which resembles part of a ship. If it is grown in the sun, the leaves acquire a reddish tinge. Although it is a very interesting plant, it has one drawback in that it produces long shoots with sparsely spaced leaves that root readily as soon as they come in contact with the compost.

It requires a light location and tolerates direct sun. Water liberally in summer to keep the soil constantly moist. In winter, water only when the soil is dry. Repotting is inadvisable; it is better to renew the plant by means of cuttings, putting several of these in one pot. !

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.