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Plants of the UNF Campus

Tradescantia pallida - Purple queen
Family Commelinaceae


Over sixty species of Tradescantia are native to North and South America. Several tropical species are used as house plants. This species is from Mexico. The wild plants have green leaves, sometimes tinted with purple. The commonly cultivated purple queen is a low, sprawling selection with deep purple leaves. Flowers are pink. The sap contains calcium oxalate rhapides that can be irritating to tender skin. 


This plant is grown as a groundcover at various sites around campus.


Herbaceous perennial that spreads widely but grows to only about six to nine inches tall.

Care Instructions:

Light: full sun

Water: drought tolerant once established

Soil: well-drained soil is essential, no other special requirements

Other - Be prepared to weed this plant regularly. Green weeds show up very well against its purple foliage.



This plant is easy to grow in a well-drained soil. It will grow in sun or part shade but color is most intense in full sun.