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Tradescantia spathacea

Tradescantia spathacea

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: Tradescantia
Sectio: T. sect. Rhoeo
Species: Tradescantia spathacea

Tradescantia spathacea Sw., Prodr.: 57. (1788)

Rhoeo spathacea (Sw.) Stearn, Baileya 5: 198 (1957)
Tradescantia discolor L'Hér., Sert. Angl.: 8 (1789)
Tradescantia versicolor Salisb., Prodr. Stirp. Chap. Allerton: 216 (1796)
Ephemerum bicolor Moench, Suppl. Meth.: 78 (1802)
Rhoeo discolor (L'Hér.) Hance in W.G.Walpers, Ann. Bot. Syst. 3: 660 (1852)
Tradescantia discolor var. lineata Verschaff., Nursery Cat. (Ambroise Verschaffelt) 64: 5 (1857-1858 publ. 1857)
Tradescantia discolor var. variegata Hook., Bot. Mag. 84: t. 5079 (1858)
Tradescantia odoratissima E.J.Lowe & W.Howard, Beaut. Leaved Pl.: 79 (1860)
Tradescantia discolor var. concolor Baker, Refug. Bot. 1: t. 48 (1868)
Tradescantia discolor var. vittata Regel, Index Seminum (LE, Petropolitanus) 1867: 26 (1868)
Rhoeo spathacea f. concolor (Baker) Stehlé, Bull. Soc. Bot. France 117: 77 (1970)
Rhoeo spathacea f. variegata (Hook.) Stehlé, Bull. Soc. Bot. France 117: 77 (1970)

Native distribution areas:
Primary references

Swartz, O. 1788. Nova genera & species plantarum seu Prodromus descriptionum vegetabilium, maximam partem incognitorum quae sub itinere in Indiam Occidentalem annis 1783–87 digessit Olof Swartz. M. D. X+152 pp., index. M.Swederi, Holmiae [Stockholm] etc. BHL Reference page. : 57.


Govaerts, R. et al. 2019. Tradescantia spathacea in World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2019 October 31. Reference page.
International Plant Names Index. 2019. Tradescantia spathacea. Published online. Accessed: October 31 2019. 2019. Tradescantia spathacea. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2019 October 31.
USDA, ARS, Germplasm Resources Information Network. Tradescantia spathacea in the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN), U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service.

Vernacular names
English: Boat-lily, Moses-in-the-cradle, Oysterplant
magyar: Lándzsalevél
lea faka-Tonga: fainā kula.

Tradescantia spathacea, the oyster plant,[2] boatlily[3] or Moses-in-the-cradle, is a herb in the Commelinaceae family first described in 1788. It is native to Belize, Guatemala, and southern Mexico (Chiapas, Tabasco, and the Yucatán Peninsula) but widely cultivated as an ornamental and naturalized in parts of Florida, Texas, Hawaii, and various oceanic islands.[4][5][6]

Tradescantia spathacea has fleshy rhizomes and rosettes of waxy lance-shaped leaves. Leaves are dark to metallic green above, with glossy purple underneath. These will reach up to 0.30 m (1 ft) long by 76 mm (3 in) wide. They are very attractive foliage plants that will reach 0.30 m (1 ft) tall. They are hardy in USDA zones 9-12 and are also grown as ornamental houseplants. Its cultivar 'Sitara' has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.[7]

Tradescantia spathacea has naturalized in Florida and Louisiana and is listed as a Category II invasive exotic species by the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council. "This means Invasive exotics that have increased in abundance or frequency but have not yet altered Florida plant communities to the extent shown by Category I species. These species may become ranked Category I if ecological damage is demonstrated."[8]
Ornmental houseplant cultivar of Tradescantia spathacea showing the compound inflorescence inside bracts which lends the name "boat lily"

"Tradescantia spathacea Sw". Plants of the World Online. Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. 2017. Retrieved 27 September 2020.
USDA, NRCS (n.d.). "Tradescantia spathacea". The PLANTS Database ( Greensboro, North Carolina: National Plant Data Team. Retrieved 14 December 2015.
Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
Biota of North America Program 2013 county distribution map
Hunt, D. R. 1994. 257. Commelinaceae. 6: 157–173. In G. Davidse, M. Sousa Sánchez & A.O. Chater (eds.) Flora Mesoamericana. Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, México, D. F.
"AGM Plants July 2021 © RHS – ORNAMENTAL" (PDF). The Royal Horticultural Society. Retrieved 21 December 2021.
Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council (2017). "Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council's 2017 List of Invasive Plant Species" (PDF). Retrieved 14 March 2019.

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