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Tradescantia zebrina (Zebrina pendula) | by wallygrom
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Tradescantia zebrina (Zebrina pendula)

Tradescantia zebrina, formerly known as Zebrina pendula, is a species of Spiderwort more commonly known as an Inch Plant or Wandering Jew, native to the Gulf Coast region of eastern Mexico. The common name is shared with closely related varieties T. fluminensis and T. pallida.

 

Tradescantia zebrina has attractive zebra-patterned leaves, the upper surface showing purple new growth and green older growth parallel to the central axis, as well as two broad silver-colored stripes on the outer edges, with the lower leaf surface presenting a deep uniform magenta.

 

It is commonly available and used as a houseplant and groundcover. Propagated by cuttings, this plant can be moved or manipulated easily as its runners cling lightly to the ground (if used as cover). It tends to become an Invasive species if not properly maintained.

 

Is commonly used in southeast Mexico in the region of Tabasco, as a cold herbal tea, which is named Matali. Also commonly used as a lubricant in China.

 

Skin irritation may result from repeated contact with or prolonged handling of the plant - particularly from the clear, watery sap (a characteristic unique to T. zebrina as compared with the other aforementioned types).

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Taken on September 24, 2011