The Queensland Gardening Pages
Information & resources about plants & gardens for Brisbane & Qld


Botanical name or synonyms: Tradescantia spathacea, Rhoeo spathacea, Rhoeo discolor
Common Names: Rhoeo, Moses-in-the-cradle, Moses-in-a-basket, Oyster Plant
Family: Commelinaceae

Very easy to grow. Grows in shade, in a minimal amount of soil. Somewhat succulent in nature so tolerates drying out between waterings.

Very easy to propagate and create massed displays at very low cost. Fast tropical effects can be achieved by block planting as a groundcover or in containers.

Dwarf form particularly popular in landscaping. Variegated striped forms also now available

Unfortunately, this plant grows so easily it has weed potential and has become invasive in Florida, USA. For more information on this issue see the Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG) link below. So take care and never dump waste of this plant (or any plants!) in the bush.

Moses In The Cradle Tradescantia spathacea. At the "Grow Me Instead" website (an Australian website informing gardeners about invasive ornamentals and safer alternatives)
Dwarf Variegated Rhoeo At the "Grow Me Instead" website
Advice on plants undesirable in or near natural areas Townsville City Council. (see notes on Rhoeo)
Oyster-Plant, Rhoeo Tradescantia spathacea Online Manual of Subtropical Landscaping Plants, Palm Beach Community College, Florida
Rhoeo spathacea University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service, USA (PDF)
Rhoeo spathacea at Aquatic, Wetland and Invasive Plants, Florida (PDF)
ISSG Database: Ecology of Tradescantia spathacea Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG)
Spiderwort, Purple Heart Are Landscape Favorites Office of Agricultural Communications, Mississippi State University, USA
Rhoeo spathacea "Moses-in-the-Cradle" University of Oklahoma

Possible Misspellings: Roeo, Rhoio, Rowio

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