Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Vascular Plants of California
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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)
Unabridged Reference: Faden 2000 FNANM 22:173--187
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.
Jepson eFlora Author: Robert E. Preston & Elizabeth McClintock
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

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Botanical illustration including Tradescantia fluminensis

botanical illustration including Tradescantia fluminensis


Citation for this treatment: Robert E. Preston & Elizabeth McClintock 2012, Tradescantia fluminensis, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on June 25, 2022.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2022, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on June 25, 2022.

Tradescantia fluminensis
click for enlargement
© 2002 Tony Morosco
Tradescantia fluminensis
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© 2018 Neal Kramer
Tradescantia fluminensis
click for enlargement
© 2018 Neal Kramer
Tradescantia fluminensis
click for enlargement
© 2002 Tony Morosco

More photos of Tradescantia fluminensis in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Tradescantia fluminensis:
1. You can change the display of the base map layer control box in the upper right-hand corner.
2. County and Jepson Region polygons can be turned off and on using the check boxes.
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).


Data provided by the participants of the  Consortium of California Herbaria.
View all CCH records
All markers link to CCH specimen records. The original determination is shown in the popup window.
Blue markers indicate specimens that map to one of the expected Jepson geographic subdivisions (see left map). Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.

CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time (fruiting time in some monocot genera).