Tradescantia spathacea, or Moses-in-the-Cradle, is a herb in the Commelinaceae 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.
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 1 foot (30 cm) long by 3 inches (7.5 cm) wide. They are very attractive foliage plants that will reach 1 foot (30 cm) tall. They are hardy in USDA zones 9-12.
- 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.
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