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Tradescantia spathacea Sw.
Family Commelinaceae
Common name: Moses in the Bulrushes, Boat Lily

Tradescantia spathacea Sw. APNI*

Description: Erect, glabrous perennial herb with short, rather stout, erect stems to c. 20 cm high.

Leaves crowded at the base, lamina somewhat fleshy, dark green adaxially, purple abaxially, oblong-lanceolate, 15–35 cm long, 2.5–4.5(-8) cm wide; apex acuminate.

Inflorescence circinnate, included within 2 large, conduplicate, ovate bracts c. 20 mm deep, to 3–4 cm wide; flowers many but scarcely extending beyond the bracts; sepals free; petals free, white, ovate, 5–8 mm long, acute at the apex; stamens 6, filaments hairy.

Capsule papery; seeds rugose.


Flowering: Mainly Spring to Autumn.

Distribution and occurrence: Sparingly naturalised on Lord Howe Island; native to Caribbean region and Central America

In disturbed Drypetes - Cryptocarya and Howea forest, near habitation.
NSW subdivisions: *LHI
AVH map***

Text by Peter G. Wilson (2001)
Taxon concept:


APNI* Provides a link to the Australian Plant Name Index (hosted by the Australian National Botanic Gardens) for comprehensive bibliographic data
***The AVH map option provides a detailed interactive Australia wide distribution map drawn from collections held by all major Australian herbaria participating in the Australian Virtual Herbarium project.
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