Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
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Tradescantia fluminensis

Higher Taxonomy
Family: CommelinaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Annual, perennial herb, generally glabrous. Stem: prostrate to erect or climbing; nodes often rooting. Leaf: alternate, entire, simple, linear to ovate, closed basal sheath or lower leaf clasping stem. Inflorescence: cyme, umbel-like or not, terminal or terminal and axillary, subtended by 1--2 bracts [not]. Flower: generally bisexual, bilateral or radial, generally insect-pollinated; sepals 3, generally green; petals 3, blue, white, rose, purple, or pale violet, generally ephemeral; stamens 6 (3 sterile or not), filaments generally slender, often hairy; ovary superior, chambers 3, style 1. Fruit: generally capsule. Seed: 1--few per chamber.
Genera In Family: 40 genera, +- 630 species: especially tropics, subtropics some cultivated as ornamental.
eFlora Treatment Author: Robert E. Preston & Elizabeth McClintock
Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: TradescantiaView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Perennial herb. Inflorescence: umbel-like, subtended by 2 leaf-like bracts. Flower: radial; petals equal, blue, rose, purple, or white; filament hairs generally from base, each a row of unusually large cells.
Species In Genus: +- 70 species: North America, South America. Etymology: (John Tradescant, British naturalist, 1570s--1638)

Tradescantia fluminensis Vell.
Leaf: 25--60 mm, glabrous, not glaucous. Inflorescence: terminal, occasionally axillary, flowers few to many. Flower: sepals 5--7 mm.
Ecology: Shaded woodland, streambanks; Elevation: 70--255 m. Bioregional Distribution: SnJV, SnFrB, SCoRO, SCo; Distribution Outside California: uncommonly naturalized; native to South America. Flowering Time: Apr--Jul
Unabridged Note: Also in disturbed urban areas. Streaming protoplasm was discovered in the unusually large cells of the filament hairs by Robert Brown in England, 1828.
eFlora Treatment Author: Robert E. Preston & Elizabeth McClintock
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botanical illustration including Tradescantia fluminensis


Citation for this treatment: Robert E. Preston & Elizabeth McClintock 2016. Tradescantia fluminensis, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on April 29, 2016.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2016. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on April 29, 2016.

Tradescantia fluminensis
click for enlargement
© 2002 Tony Morosco
Tradescantia fluminensis
click for enlargement
© 2002 Tony Morosco

More photos of Tradescantia fluminensis in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Tradescantia fluminensis:
SnJV, SnFrB, SCoRO, SCo;
Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.