Tradescantia fluminensis ‘Variegata’-Inch Plant, ETC.

Tradescantia fluminensis ‘Variegata’ after I brought it home from Wagler’s Greenhouse on 9-13-18, #507-16.

Inch plant, River Spiderwort, Small-Leaf Spiderwort, Wandering Gypsy, Wandering Jew, Wandering Trad, Wandering Willie

Tradescantia fluminensis ‘Variegata’

trad-es-KAN-tee-ah  floo-min-EN-sis

Synonyms of Tradescantia fluminensis (2) (Updated on 2-26-21): Tradescantia albiflora Kunth, Tradescantia laekenensis L.H.Bailey & E.Z.Bailey

Tradescantia fluminensis Vell. is the correct and accepted scientific name for this species of Tradescantia. It was named and described as such by José Mariano da Conceição Velozo in Florae Fluminensis in 1829.

The genus, Tradescantia Ruppius ex L., was named by Heinrich Bernhard Ruppius but later described by Carl von Linnaeus in Species Plantarum in 1753. Some of his writings were published after his death by Albrecht von Haller and Carl von Linnaeus. The genus Ruppia was named after him.

Plants of the World Online by Kew lists 83 species in the Tradescantia genus (as of 2-26-21 when I last updated this page). It is a member of the plant family Commelinaceae with 39 genera. Those numbers could change as updates are made.

Species of Tradescantia have a native range from South America through Canada. Tradescantia fluminensis is a native of parts of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay in South America but it is widely grown in many parts of the world.


Tradescantia fluminensis ‘Variegata’ on 9-13-18, #507-17.

I found this pot Tradescantia fluminensis ‘Variegata’ at Wagler’s Greenhouse on 9-13-18 so I decided would bring it home. It was unlabeled but it didn’t take long to find out its scientific name. 

Tradescantia fluminensis is a perennial ground cover in its native habitat and makes a great plant for hanging baskets. It has fleshy stems that easily root from the leaf nodes.

Tradescantia fluminensis ‘Variegata’ on 9-13-18, #507-18.

I gave the Tradescantia fluminensis ‘Variegata’ a trimming and arranged the cuttings in a circle in the pot. I use Miracle Grow Potting Soil for all my “ordinary” plants.

Family: Commelinaceae.
Origin: Native to parts of Paraguay, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay in South America.
Zones: USDA Zones 10a-11 (30 to 40° F/-1.1 to 4.5° C).
Size: 24-36”.
Light: Light to full shade.
Soil: Well-draining.
Water: Average.

It prefers growing in light to full shade and doesn’t grow well in full sun. They prefer consistently moist soil but are forgiving if neglected on occasion because they store water in their fleshy stems. I get behind watering quite often… 

Tradescantia fluminensis ‘Variegata’ on 10-10-18, #519-67.

I grow all my Tradescantia on the front porch where they receive what I would assume is light shade. Most of the plants on the front porch get a small amount of direct sun during the afternoon.


Tradescantia fluminensis ‘Variegata’ on 4-20-19, #560-40.

While most of the Tradescantia flower later in the summer, I was surprised to see the Tradescantia fluminensis ‘Variegata’ with flowers on April 20 in 2019. I had just put the plants outside…

Tradescantia fluminensis ‘Variegata’ on 6-16-19, #591-43.

Tradescantia normally grow pretty fast and can become quite “stemmy”. You can easily give it a good trimming and put the cuttings in potting soil to grow more…

Tradescantia fluminensis ‘Variegata’ on 6-22-19, #593-46.

The Tradescantia fluminensis ‘Variegata’ continued to flower off and on throughout the summer…

Tradescantia fluminensis ‘Variegata’ on 10-11-19, #639-93.

By the time October 11 in 2019 came around, the plant was looking great. I had to move the plants inside because an “F” was in the forecast…

Tradescantia fluminensis ‘Variegata’ on 10-11-19, #639-94.

I put most of the Tradescantia in a cool front bedroom and kind of limit their water or they start growing weird and reaching for light. They stay don’t grow as much if you limit their water. Come spring when I move the plants outside, I give them a good trimming so they will regrow and look their best.

I was fairly busy over the summer of 2020 with the garden so I didn’t get many plant photos taken. I will do better in 2021.

Currently, as I am updating this page on 2-26-21, the Tradescantia fluminensis ‘Variegata’ is happily growing on the new plant shelf in my bedroom…

I hope you enjoyed this page and maybe found it useful. If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, I would like to hear from you. Please click on “like” if you visited this page. It helps us bloggers stay motivated. 🙂 You can check out the links below for further reading. The links take you directly to the genus and species of this plant. If you notice I made an error, please let me know. Of course, you can always send me an email at


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