Tradescantia fluminensis, Wandering Creeper

Image/s
Category
Creepers and climbers
Scientific Name
Tradescantia fluminensis
Common Name/s
Wandering Creeper
Weed Information

Threat: High threat environmental weed.

Description: Evergreen, semi-succulent, rampant creeper that forms dense mats to 60cm deep. It readily smothers indigenous plants and prevents regeneration of all plants both indigenous and introduced.

Flowers: Small white star-shaped flowers with three petals that emerge from two leaf-like bracts in spring and summer.

Leaves: Shiny mid-green ovate-lanceolate leaves 3–6cm long and 1–3cm wide with the leaf base forming a sheath around the stem. Parallel veined and fleshy.

Stems: Succulent, brittle, branching and trailing. Forms shallow roots at nodes which is the primary means of spread.

Note: Invades riparian environments, moist woodlands and forests. Seedlings very rarely recorded. Rampant vegetative spread where one noded bit of stem will root and form stems. Plants readily spread by water movement during floods and dumping garden waste. Growth rapid with stems able to spread several metres in one year under favourable conditions. Very toxic to cattle, causing rapid death if eaten, and promotes allergenic reactions in dogs.

Similar indigenous species: Native Wandering Creeper (Commelina cyanea).

Control measures: Hand weeding, spot spraying, solarisation.

Dispersal: Birds, water, seeds, wind.