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any plant of the American genus Tradescantia, widely cultivated for their striped variegated leaves: family Commelinaceae
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
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Eat the flowers -purple with little yellow sprig (leaves aren't too great) Root tea used for kidney, female and stomach issues. Apply smashed leaves to stings and bites.
Edible Plant Guide © 2012 Markus Rothkranz
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(spiderwort), a genus of perennial herbs of the family Commelinaceae. The stems are erect or spreading, and the leaves are alternate and oval or lanceolate in shape. The flowers, which are solitary or in inflorescences, have three free sepals and petals. The fruit is a capsule.

There are about 60 species, distributed in tropical and subtropical America. Many species are raised as ornamentals. The common spiderwort (T. virginiana), an erect plant with linear-lanceolate leaves and large blue or violet flowers, has been cultivated in open ground since the early 17th century. Some tropical species, including T. albiflora and T. fluminensis, as well as their varieties with white stripes on the leaves, are raised indoors as basket plants. The plant Zebrina pendula, whose leaves are silver-banded above and reddish violet below, is often classified in the genus Tradescantia.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Tradescantia stamen--hair system as an excellent botanical tester of mutagenicity: its response to ionizing radiations and chemical mutagens, and some synergistic effects found, Mut.
Segun los criterios seguidos, de las 35 especies aqui recogidas, creemos que 22 de ellas presentan un claro comportamiento invasor en las islas: Acacia farnesiana, Agave americana, Ageratina adenophora, Ageratina riparia, Albizia distachya, Anredera cordifolia, Arundo donax, Cardiospermum grandiflorum, Centranthus ruber, Chasmanthe aethiopica, Cytisis scoparius, Eschscholzia californica, Nicotiana, glauca, Opuntia dillenii, Opuntia maxima, Pennisetum setaceum, Phoenix dactylifera, Ricinus communis, Spartium junceum, Tradescantia fluminensis, Tropaeolum majus y Ulex europaeus.
Zebrina usually have more highly-coloured leaves but most popular is Tradescantia fluminensis quadricolour, which has green and white leaves with a suffusion of purple on top of the leaves and a deep purple reverse on many of them.
Convolvulus Ipomoea, Sweet Pea, Morning Glory, Borage, Lobelia, Viola, Salvia Patens, Nigella, Ageratum, Nemophila, Centaurca, Brachycome, Anchusa Iris, Geranium, Meconopsis, Gentian, Tradescantia, Scabious.
Tradescantia sillamontana, a xerophyte plant with the common names of White Velvet, White Gossamer Plant and Cobweb Spiderwort, is endemic to north eastern Mexico.
COMMELINACEAE (Spiderwort Family) Tradescantia subaspera Ker Gawl.--SW; MWL; Common; C = 4; BSUH 19754.
B, S N [Agarito] Commelinaceae Tradescantia occidental is (Britton) Smyth B, C, H, S N [Prairie Spiderwort] Cucurbitaceae Ibervillea lindheimeri (A.
Other prevalent weeds included Japanese Honeysuckle Lonicera japonica, Morning Glory Ipomoea indica, Madeira Vine Anredera cordifolia, Blackberry Rubus fruticosus, Cape Ivy Delairea odorata, Balloon Vine Cardiospermum grandiflorum and Tradescantia Tradescantia fluminensis.
Amaryllis Asclepias tuberosa Butterfly weed Jatropha integerrima Peregrina Ruella simplex Mexican petunia Lantana camara Lantana Barleria cristata Philippine violet Trachelospermum jasminoides Confederate jasmine Tradescantia pallida Purple queen Canna sp.
2A); el pajonal mixto, integrado por elementos palustres herbaceos, arbustivos, volubles y lianas, donde se encuentran representantes de los generos Canna, Cuphea, Eryngium, Hydrocotyle, Ipomoea, Iris, Lonicera, Ludwigia, Passiflora, Pavonia, Polygonum, Pontederia, Sagittaria, Schoenoplectus, Tradescantia, Trifurcia y Tripogandra.
Three of the four died after he sealed the container, but this beauty - called a spiderworts or tradescantia - just kept growing.