Tradescantia pallida ‘Purpurea’ is a ground cover from the Commelinaceae family of plants. It is a perennial native to Mexico. They also call it the Spider Lily, Purple Queen, Wandering Jew ‘Purpurea’, Purple Spiderwort, Setcreasea purpurea, Setcreasea tampicana, Tradescantia purpurea, Purple Heart.
Pallida means pale. The name purpurea refers to the purple color and the genus is named after John Tradescant (1570-1638) and his son of the same name, both English botanists and gardeners to Charles I.
It grows to about 8in or 20cm tall. Tradescantia pallida ‘Purpurea’ has thick but fragile stems and leaves that are narrow-oblong. They are deep purple in color. The flowers are pink and have three petals.
How to grow Tradescantia pallida ‘Purpurea’:
Grow Tradescantia pallida ‘Purpurea’ in the sun or partial shade. Plant it in rich, moist but well-drained soil. The purple color of the plant is stronger when it is grown in the sun. Pinch the tips to make it bushier and promote new growth. Shelter from strong wind. Grow it in the ground in temperate regions or in containers.
In colder climates protect it when temperatures fall below 50ºF or 10ºC. Tradescantia pallida ‘Purpurea’ will die down in mild freeze and then it will regrow. It is generally disease-free or pest-free and drought tolerant, when established. Watch out for snails and caterpillars. Propagate by softwood cuttings.