New Zealand Status: Introduced
Conservation Status: Pest (NPPA)
Tradescantia fluminensis is a common trailing plant with succulent stems that break easily and root readily at the nodes. It prefers cool moist and shady conditions including stream and wetland margins and lowland forest. It doesn't produce seeds but spreads rapidly forming dense mats up to 60cm thick that smother ground cover species and prevent seedlings of canopy species establishing. Control is difficult.
Wandering Jew has shiny alternate leaves 3-6cm long, ovate to elliptic, and loosely clasping the stem. Leaves are typically dark green. It produces clusters of delicate star shaped flowers with three petals that are 1cm long.
© Geografpix Photography, Steve Reader