Perennial, rarely annual herbs, decumbent to suberect, brittle, usually with variegated, striped leaves, greenish. Inflorescence short, included within a pair of unequal, folded, leafy bracts. Sepals 2-3-lobed, tubular. Corolla tubular below, lobes free, ovate. Stamens 6, fertile, epipetalous. Ovary 3-loculed with 1-2 ovules in each locale.
A small genus with c. 5 species, mostly native of C. America, widely cultivated as ornamentals in warmer regions; represented here by 1, cultivated species.
Differs from Tradescantia Linn., by petals united and tubular below, flowers few, sessile within 2 conduplicate, unequal bracts.