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Tradescantia pallida ‘Purpurea’ (photo courtesy of Thomas J. Story)
Tradescantia pallida ‘Purpurea’ (photo courtesy of Thomas J. Story)

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Zones 12-24, H1, H2
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Full, Partial
Regular Water

Tradescantia pallida ‘Purpurea’

Purple Heart, Purple Queen

Perennials, Flowers


Most are virtually indestructible plants with long, trailing stems. Usually seen in containers or hanging baskets, but can be used as groundcovers—though the most vigorous, rambling types are likely to be invasive. On variegated forms, pinch out growth that reverts to solid green.

Tradescantia pallida ‘Purpurea’

From Mexico. Creeping plant to 1–1 1/2 ft. tall and 1 ft. wide; stems tend to flop. Pointed, rather narrowly oval leaves are strongly shaded with purple, particularly on the undersides. Pale or deep purple flowers (not showy). Pinch back after bloom. Generally unattractive in winter. Frost may kill tops, but recovery is fast in warm weather. Use as a groundcover, for bedding, or in containers. Full sun or light shade. Moderate water.

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