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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 22 | Commelinaceae | Tradescantia

6. Tradescantia paludosa E. S. Anderson & Woodson, Contr. Arnold Arbor. 9: 83; plate 2, fig. 4; plate 4, fig. 6; plate 11;. 1935.

Tradescantia ohiensis Rafinesque var. paludosa (E. S. Anderson & Woodson) MacRoberts

Herbs, erect, ascending, or occasionally decumbent, rarely rooting at nodes. Stems often much branched distally, 15--60 cm; internodes not at all to slightly glaucous, glabrous. Leaves spirally arranged, sessile, forming nearly right angle with stem, straight; blade narrowly oblong-elliptic to linear-lanceolate, 4--11(--20) ´ 0.4--1.2 cm (distal leaf blades equal to or narrower than sheaths when sheaths opened, flattened), base often constricted, apex acuminate, not at all to slightly glaucous, glabrous. Inflorescences terminal, often axillary; bracts foliaceous. Flowers distinctly pedicillate; pedicels 0.8--1.5 cm, glabrous; sepals 0.6--0.8 mm, glabrous or with apical tuft of eglandular hairs; petals distinct, pale blue, ovate, not clawed, 1.3--1.5 cm; stamens free; filaments bearded. Capsules 2--5 mm. Seeds 2--3 mm. 2n = 12.

Flowering spring (Mar--May), sporadically to early fall. Alluvial bottoms and swamps, forests, roadsides, railroad rights-of-way, fields, ditches, and lawns; Ala., Ark., Fla., La., Miss., Tex.

Tradescantia paludosa is clearly Anderson and Woodson's weakest species, and D. T. MacRoberts (1979) may be correct in treating it as a variety of Trandescantia ohiensis. In view of its importance as a research tool, however, I prefer to maintain T. paludosa as a species until a more rigorous analysis of its variation is published. Plants of this species do not seem to require a winter dormancy, hence they can be cultivated in greenhouses year-round.


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