Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

  [   PIER species lists  ]   [   PIER home  ]

Tradescantia zebrina
Hort. ex Bosse, Commelinaceae
Click on an image for links to BIGGER PICTURES


Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Other Latin names:  Zebrina pendula Schnitzl.

Common name(s): [more details]

Chinese: diao zhu mei

English: inchplant, purple wantering Jew, silver inch plant, wandering Jew, wandering zebrina

Maori (Cook Islands): mauku papa‘ā

Spanish: barbija, cohitre morado, judio errante

Habit:  herb

Description:  "Creeping and pendulous, succulent herb, rooting readily at nodes; stems, leaves and floral bracts tinged with purple-red.  Leaves spaced along stem; petiole ca 2 mm long, passing into basal ciliate sheath; lamina ovate, 2-5 cm long, green tinged with purple-red, especially beneath, usually with ca 3 darker, broad, longitudinal stripes.  Inflorescence terminal, of 2 short cincinni subtended closely by 2 leaf-like bracts.  Petals ovate, 10-12 mm long, delecate, conate in lower half into a narrow white tube, purple-magenta"  (Orchard, 1994; p. 420).

"Trailing ornamental herb; leaves reddish-purple beneath, silvery-green above with narrow purple edges and a central purple stripe, bractlike leaves near stem tips enclose pink flowers.  Leaves to 6 cm long; corolla less than 1 cm long." (Stone, 1970; p. 105).

Habitat/ecology:  Widely cultivated in gardens. Forms dense mats.

In Tonga, "occasional to frequent as a weed in plantations and waste areas" (Yuncker, 1959; p. 78).  In New Caledonia, "assez répandu a l'état spontané; perfois abondant en lieux frais et humides" (MacKee, 1994; p. 31). Moist uplands in the Galápagos Islands (McMullen, 1999; p. 220). In Queensland, Australia, "it has formed dense infestations (up to 1 m thick) along the edges of rainforests, particularly near settlements" (Humphries & Stanton, 1992, cited in Csurhes & Edwards, 1998; p. 201).

Propagation:  Seeds, roots from nodes.

Native range:  Mexico and Central America.

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Australia (Pacific offshore islands)
Lord Howe Island
Lord Howe Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Csurhes, S./Edwards, R. (1998) (p. 201)
Australia (Pacific offshore islands)
Lord Howe Island
Lord Howe Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Orchard, Anthony E., ed. (1994) (p. 22)
"Escaped from cultivation in one or two shady places on the Island". Vouchers cited: A.N. Rodd 3605 (NSW), J. Pickard 3326 (NSW)
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (US)
Northern Mariana Islands
Saipan Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1987) (p. 99)
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (US)
Northern Mariana Islands
Tinian Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1987) (p. 99)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Mangaia Island   McCormack, Gerald (2013)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Ma‘uke Island   McCormack, Gerald (2013)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Ma‘uke Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2002) (p. 94)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Rarotonga Island   McCormack, Gerald (2013)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
San Cristóbal Group
San Cristóbal Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Santa Cruz Group
Santa Cruz Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Federated States of Micronesia
Chuuk Islands
Fefan Island introduced
Space, James C./Waterhouse, Barbara/Denslow, Julie S./Nelson, Duane/Mazawa, Thomas R. (2000) (p. 30)
Federated States of Micronesia
Pohnpei Islands
Pohnpei Island introduced
cultivated
Herrera, Katherine/Lorence, David H./Flynn, Timothy/Balick, Michael J. (2010) (p. 40)
Voucher cited: Lorence 8092 (MO, NY, PTBG, US)
Federated States of Micronesia
Pohnpei Islands
Pohnpei Island   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (1997) (voucher ID: PTBG 28616)
Taxon name on voucher: Tradescantia zebrina Bosse
Federated States of Micronesia
Yap Islands
Faraulep (Faraulap) Atoll introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1987) (p. 99)
Federated States of Micronesia
Yap Islands
Ifalik (Ifaluk) Atoll introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1987) (p. 99)
Federated States of Micronesia
Yap Islands
Yap (Waqab) Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1987) (p. 99)
Federated States of Micronesia
Yap Islands
Yap (Waqab) Island   Beleu National Museum (Republic of Palau. Koror.) (1968) (voucher ID: BNM 97)
Taxon name on voucher: Zebrina pendula Schnizl.
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Ovalau Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Smith, Albert C. (1979) (p. 282)
Voucher cited: Smith 7490
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Rotuma Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1938) (voucher ID: BISH 628340)
Taxon name on voucher: Zebrina pendula Schinzl.
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Vanua Levu Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Smith, Albert C. (1979) (p. 282)
Voucher cited: DA 13145
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Viti Levu Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Smith, Albert C. (1979) (p. 282)
Vouchers cited: DA 12119, DA 12609, DA 13278
French Polynesia
Gambier Islands
Mangareva (Gambier) Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Naturalisée
French Polynesia
Gambier Islands
Mangareva (Gambier) Island introduced
cultivated
St. John, Harold (1988) (p. 10)
Voucher cited: Fosberg 11011 (BISH)
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Hiva Oa Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Naturalisée
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Nuku Hiva (Nukahiva) Island introduced
cultivated
Lorence, David H./Wagner, Warren L. (2013)
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Nuku Hiva (Nukahiva) Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Also cv. 'Purpusii', cultivée.
Naturalisée
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Nuku Hiva (Nukahiva) Island   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (1964) (voucher ID: PTBG 8818)
Taxon name on voucher: Tradescantia zebrina
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Tahuata (Tuhuata) Island introduced
cultivated
Lorence, David H./Wagner, Warren L. (2013)
French Polynesia
Marquesas Islands
Ua Pou (Huapu, Uapou, Uapu) Island introduced
cultivated
Lorence, David H./Wagner, Warren L. (2013)
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Huahine Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Welsh, S. L. (1998) (p. 311)
Voucher cited: D. Bare 75
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Raiatea (Havai) Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Welsh, S. L. (1998) (p. 311)
Voucher cited: Moore 464
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Taha‘a Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R. (1997) (p. 31)
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island introduced
Meyer, Jean-Yves (2000) (p. 94)
"Potential invader, mesic habitats".
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Welsh, S. L. (1998) (p. 311)
Vouchers cited: Grant 4516, BRY 26006
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Voucher cited: J. Florence 7690 (PAP). Also cv. 'Purpusii', cultivée.
Naturalisée
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tetiaroa Atoll introduced
cultivated
Sachet, M.-H./Fosberg, F. R. (1983) (p. 65)
French Polynesia
Tuamotu Archipelago
Makatea (Ma‘atea) Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Voucher cited: J. Florence 9068 (PAP)
Naturalisée sur falaise le long de la piste.
French Polynesia
Austral (Tubuai) Islands
Raivavae (Raevavae) Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Voucher cited: J. Florence & W.R. Sykes 11425 (PAP)
"Ornementale au sol et en pots. Se naturalise en station héliophile".
French Polynesia
Austral (Tubuai) Islands
Rapa Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Naturalisée
French Polynesia
Austral (Tubuai) Islands
Rurutu Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Also cv. 'Purpusii', cultivée.
Naturalisée
French Polynesia
Austral (Tubuai) Islands
Tubuai Island introduced
invasive
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Naturalisée
Guam
Guam Island
Guam Island introduced
cultivated
Stone, Benjamin C. (1970) (pp. 105-106)
Guam
Guam Island
Guam Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1987) (p. 99)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Kaua‘i Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Lorence, David H./Flynn, Tim (1997) (p. 10)
Voucher cited: Lorence & Lorence 7743 (PTBG)
Probably an escape from cultivation, it is now naturalized and covers large areas of ground in secondary forest.
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Maui Island introduced
invasive
Oppenheimer, Hank L./Bartlett, R. T. (2000) (p. 4)
West Maui. Voucher cited: Oppenheimer H99903 (BISH)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Maui Island introduced
invasive
Starr, Forest/Starr, Kim/Loope, Lloyd L. (2004) (p. 21)
East Maui. Voucher cited: Starr & Martz 011023-1 (BISH)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Moloka‘i Island introduced
invasive
Oppenheimer, Hank (2007) (p. 22)
Voucher cited: Oppenheimer H110607 (BISH, PTBG)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Ni‘ihau Island introduced
Wester, Lyndon (1992) (p. 117)
Kiribati
Tungaru (Gilbert) Islands
Tarawa Atoll introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Imada, Clyde T. (2004) (p. 10)
Marshall Islands
Ratak Chain
Majuro (Mãjro) Atoll introduced
cultivated
Vander Velde, Nancy (2003) (p. 36)
Nauru
Nauru Island
Nauru Island introduced
cultivated
Thaman, R. R./Fosberg, F. R./Manner, H. I./Hassall, D. C. (1994) (p. 49)
Voucher cited: Fosberg 56780 (US)
New Caledonia
Îles Loyauté (Loyalte Islands)
Île Lifou introduced
invasive
MacKee, H. S. (1994) (p. 31)
Voucher cited: Däniker 2310
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Archipelago
Île Grande Terre introduced
invasive
cultivated
MacKee, H. S. (1994) (p. 31)
Vouchers cited: MacKee 3881, MacKee 20951, MacKee 23898
Niue
Niue
Niue Island introduced
Sykes, W. R. (1970) (p. 225)
Voucher cited: CHR 168855
Niue
Niue
Niue Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2000) (p. 5)
Niue
Niue
Niue Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Yuncker, T. G. (1943) (p. 32)
Voucher cited: Yuncker 9726 (BISH)
"Introduced ornamental which has escaped and is now frequent on exposed rocks near the sea in the vicinity of villages".
Niue
Niue
Niue Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Space, James C./Waterhouse, Barbara M./Newfield, Melanie/Bull, Cate (2004) (p. 13)
Palau
Kayangel Atoll
Kayangel Islet introduced
invasive
Miles, Joel (2015) (p. 2)
ref cites other taxa as "Cultivated," but not this one, so implication is that this taxon was found in a non-cultivated situation (PT@PhilipT.com/20170602)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Angaur (Ngeaur) Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Space, James C./Waterhouse, Barbara/Miles, Joel E./Tiobech, Joseph/Rengulbai, Kashgar (2003) (pp. 11, 88)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Angaur (Ngeaur) Island introduced
invasive
Space, James C./Lorence, David H./LaRosa, Anne Marie (2009) (p. 13)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Babeldaob Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Space, James C./Waterhouse, Barbara/Miles, Joel E./Tiobech, Joseph/Rengulbai, Kashgar (2003) (pp. 11, 87)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Kayangel (Ngcheangel) Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Waterhouse, Barbara/Miles, Joel E./Tiobech, Joseph/Rengulbai, Kashgar (2003) (p. 89)
Cultivated?
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Kayangel (Ngcheangel) Island introduced
invasive
Space, James C./Lorence, David H./LaRosa, Anne Marie (2009) (p. 13)
Voucher: Lorence 9794 (PTBG, BNM, NY,TAMU, US)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Kayangel (Ngcheangel) Island   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (2008) (voucher ID: PTBG 87)
Taxon name on voucher: Tradescantia zebrina
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Koror (Oreor) Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Waterhouse, Barbara/Miles, Joel E./Tiobech, Joseph/Rengulbai, Kashgar (2003) (p. 83)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Koror (Oreor) Island introduced
cultivated
Lorence, David H./Flynn, Tim (2010) (p. 9)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Ngercheu Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Waterhouse, Barbara/Miles, Joel E./Tiobech, Joseph/Rengulbai, Kashgar (2003) (p. 92)
Carp Resort
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Ngercheu Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Lorence, David H./LaRosa, Anne Marie (2009) (p. 13)
Carp Resort
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Ngerkebesang Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Waterhouse, Barbara/Miles, Joel E./Tiobech, Joseph/Rengulbai, Kashgar (2003) (p. 83)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Peleliu (Beliliou) Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Space, James C./Waterhouse, Barbara/Miles, Joel E./Tiobech, Joseph/Rengulbai, Kashgar (2003) (p. 91)
Papua New Guinea
Bismarck Archipelago
Bismarck Archipelago introduced
invasive
cultivated
Peekel, P. G. [translated by E. E. Henty] (1984) (p. 80)
Papua New Guinea
Bougainville Islands
Bougainville Island   Foreman, D. B. (1971) (p. 24)
Philippines
Philippine Islands
Philippine Islands introduced
invasive
cultivated
Merrill, Elmer D. (1925) (pp. 199-200)
Cultivated as an ornamental, now more or less established in coconut groves, etc., at medium altitudes.
Pitcairn Islands
Pitcairn Islands
Pitcairn Island introduced
invasive
St. John, H. (1987) (p. 26)
Voucher cited: R. A. Young 16
Samoa
Western Samoa Islands
Savai‘i Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2002) (p. 7)
Samoa
Western Samoa Islands
Upolu Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2002) (p. 7)
Tonga
Tonga Islands
Tonga Islands introduced
invasive
cultivated
Yuncker, T. G. (1959) (p. 78)
"Occasional to frequent throughout Tonga".
Tonga
Tongatapu Group
Tongatapu Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2001) (p. 7)
Tonga
Tongatapu Group
Tongatapu Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Yuncker, T. G. (1959) (p. 78)
Voucher cited: Yuncker 15275
Pacific Rim
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Australia
Australia (continental)
New South Wales introduced
invasive
cultivated
Csurhes, S./Edwards, R. (1998) (p. 201)
Australia
Australia (continental)
Queensland introduced
invasive
cultivated
Csurhes, S./Edwards, R. (1998) (p. 201)
China
China
China (People's Republic of) introduced
invasive
cultivated
Zhengyi, Wu/Raven, Peter H./Deyuan, Hong (2013)
Commonly cultivated in S. China for its attractive flowers. Naturalized; Fujian, S.W. Guangxi (Longzhou Xian), Hong Kong.
China
China
Hong Kong introduced
cultivated
Wu, Te-lin (2001) (p. 305)
Colombia
Colombia
Colombia (Republic of)   Holm, Leroy/Pancho, Juan V./Herberger, James P./Plucknett, Donald L. (1979) (pp. 389-390)
El Salvador
El Salvador
El Salvador (Republic of)   Holm, Leroy/Pancho, Juan V./Herberger, James P./Plucknett, Donald L. (1979) (pp. 389-390)
Guatemala
Guatemala
Guatemala (Republic of)   Holm, Leroy/Pancho, Juan V./Herberger, James P./Plucknett, Donald L. (1979) (pp. 389-390)
Honduras
Honduras
Honduras (Republic of)   Holm, Leroy/Pancho, Juan V./Herberger, James P./Plucknett, Donald L. (1979) (pp. 389-390)
Japan
Japan
Japan (country) introduced
Mito, Toshikazu/Uesugi, Tetsuro (2004) (p. 191)
As Zebrina pendula Schnitzl.
Mexico
Mexico
Mexico (United Mexican States) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Singapore
Singapore
Singapore (Republic of) introduced
cultivated
Chong, Kwek Yan/Tan, Hugh T. W./Corlett, Richard T. (2009) (p. 87)
Cultivated only
Taiwan
Taiwan Island
Taiwan Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Zhengyi, Wu/Raven, Peter H./Deyuan, Hong (2013)
Indian Ocean
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Australia (Indian Ocean offshore islands)
Christmas Island Group
Christmas Island introduced
cultivated
Swarbrick, J. T. (1997) (p. 130)
British Indian Ocean Territory
Chagos Archipelago
Diego Garcia Island introduced
cultivated
Topp, J. M. W. (1988) (p. 16)
British Indian Ocean Territory
Chagos Archipelago
Diego Garcia Island introduced
cultivated
Whistler, W. Arthur (1996) (p. 32)
As Zebrina pendula Schnizl.
British Indian Ocean Territory
Chagos Archipelago
Diego Garcia Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Rivers, Julie (2004) (pp. 1, 6)
Mauritius
Mautitius Islands (Mauritius and Rodrigues)
Mauritius Island   Holm, Leroy/Pancho, Juan V./Herberger, James P./Plucknett, Donald L. (1979) (pp. 389-390)
Also reported from
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
United States (continental except west coast)
United States (other states)
United States (other states) introduced
U.S. Dept. Agr., Nat. Res. Cons. Serv. (2013)
Kentucky, Louisiana
United States (continental except west coast)
United States (other states)
USA (Florida) introduced
U.S. Dept. Agr., Nat. Res. Cons. Serv. (2013)

Comments:  Invasive in the Galápagos Islands.

Common outside of cultivation on Ma‘uke, Cook Islands (Space & Flynn, 2002).

In one valley on Tahiti, but not yet a major problem.

Mostly roadside escapes on Niue (Space & Flynn, 2000).

Planted but not (yet) escaping in Samoa (Space & Flynn, 2002).


Need more info? Have questions? Comments? Information to contribute? Contact PIER! (pier@hear.org)

  [   PIER species lists  ]   [   PIER home  ]

This page was created on 1 JAN 1999 and was last updated on 18 APR 2009.