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Callisia repens starr

Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Monocots
Cladus: Commelinids
Ordo: Commelinaless

Familia: Commelinaceae
Subfamilia: Commelinoideae
Tribus: Tradescantieae
Subtribus: Tradescantiinae
Genus: Callisia
Species: Callisia repens

Callisia repens (Jacq.) L., 1762

Hapalanthus repens Jacq., Enum. Syst. Pl.: 12 (1760).
Tradescantia callisia Sw., Fl. Ind. Occid. 1: 603 (1797).
Callisia repens var. ciliata Roem. & Schult., Syst. Veg., ed. 15 bis 1: 528 (1817).
Callisia hexandra DC. ex Hassk., Commelin. Ind.: 40 (1870).
Callisia hexandra var. mandonii Hassk., Commelin. Ind.: 40 (1870).
Callisia hexandra var. salzmannii Hassk., Commelin. Ind.: 40 (1870).
Callisia repens var. mandonii (Hassk.) C.B.Clarke in Candolle & Candolle, Monogr. Phan. 3: 311 (1881).
Callisia hexandra var. caracasana Ernst, Revista Ci. (Caracas) 2: 46 (1889).

Native distribution areas:

Continental: Southern America
Argentina Northeast; Argentina Northwest; Aruba; Belize; Bolivia; Brazil Northeast; Cayman Is.; Colombia; Costa Rica; Cuba; Dominican Republic; Ecuador; El Salvador; French Guiana; Guatemala; Haiti; Honduras; Jamaica; Leeward Is.; Netherlands Antilles; Nicaragua; Panam; Paraguay; Peru; Puerto Rico; Trinidad-Tobago; Venezuela; Venezuelan Antilles; Windward Is.
Continental: Northern America
Florida; Louisiana; Mexico Central; Mexico Gulf; Mexico Northeast; Mexico Northwest; Mexico Southeast; Mexico Southwest; Texas

References: Brummitt, R.K. 2001. TDWG – World Geographical Scheme for Recording Plant Distributions, 2nd Edition
Primary references

Linnaeus, C. 1762. Species plantarum, exhibentes plantas rite cognitas, ad genera relatas, cum differentiis specificis, nominibus trivialibus, synonymis selectis, locis natalibus, secundum systema sexuale digestas. Tomus I, Ed. 2. Pp. [I–XVI], 1–784. Impensis Direct. Laurentii Salvii, Holmiae [Stockholm]. BHL Reference page. : 1:62.


Govaerts, R. et al. 2019. Callisia repens in World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2019 October 30. Reference page.
International Plant Names Index. 2019. Callisia repens. Published online. Accessed: October 30 2019. 2019. Callisia repens. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2019 October 30.
USDA, ARS, Germplasm Resources Information Network. Callisia repens in the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN), U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service. Accessed: 07-Oct-06.

Vernacular names

Callisia repens, also known as creeping inchplant, Bolivian Jew or turtle vine, is a succulent creeping plant from the family Commelinaceae. This species comes from Central and South America.[1]

Leaves close up

The perennial plant forms creeping mats. The flowering shoots are ascending. The fleshy, delicate leaves grow smaller towards the tip of the shoot. The leaf blade is oval to lanceolate, 1-3.5 centimeters long and 0.6-1 centimeter wide. In the distal leaves, the blades are narrower than the open, spread leaf sheaths. It grows quickly, multiplies easily by long, creeping shoots that root in each node, as soon as it is on the ground.

The inflorescences sit in the armpits of the distal leaves of the flower sprout and consist of paired cymes. Produced in the summer, the flowers are hermaphrodite and odorless. The bracts are inconspicuous, white, lanceolate and three to six millimeters long. There are zero to six stamens with smooth filaments. The ovary is bipartite and has a brush-like scar. Capsule fruits with one millimeter large seeds develop.[2]

The species is native to America from the southeast of the United States (Texas, Florida) via the West Indies (Guadeloupe and Martinique) to Argentina and grows in shady, rocky or gravelly spots in subtropical to tropical forests. It is naturalized in Hong Kong and grows on rooftops. In Western Australia, it is an invasive species due to its rapid growth, its tolerance to various environments and the ground cover effect which make it spread very quickly, suffocating local plants or preventing them from germinating.[3]

The species is sometimes used as an ornamental plant and it is easily propagated by cuttings. It is also marketed as a houseplant for its drooping habit and the scent of its white flowers. Strong light makes the foliage blush, the plant can stand direct sunlight if there is much humidity. The optimum growth conditions are between 18–22 °C during the day and at least 12°C at night. Pests include snails.

Tropicos. [1]
Callisia repens (creeping inch-plant) Invasive Species Compendium (CABI). 22 February, 2020
Home gardeners urged to look out for pest plant By the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (Government of Western Australia), 15 January 2019

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