Can you ID this purple succulent? - Big Images

dragonstoneJune 10, 2007

My friend sent me this from Florida and says it is pretty common where she lives but she doesn't know the name. She says the neighbor told her that it is a succulent.

I'm not sure if it is or not. Can anyone ID it?

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Tradescantia pallida. Common name "purple heart." Native to Mexico. It's related to wandering jew, grows incredibly fast, roots in almost no time, is hardy to about 20F, and is terribly underappreciated outside the South.

(Inside the South, it's considered an invasive and is sort of a problem. I don't know if NC is warm enough year-round for it to be a problem or not.)

    Bookmark   June 10, 2007 at 2:23PM
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Wow, thank you!

I'll most likely keep it in the pot and just bring it into the greenhouse during the winter.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2007 at 3:32PM
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Dragon, btw, Purple Heart isn't a succulent..though it doesn't like soggy soil I allow mine to dry just a bit between waterings..though they like more water in summer, especailly if set in strong light..the more sun, leaves are more pronounced..darker purple..PH's have a tendency to grow straggly in winter..Cuttings are super easy to root..just set in water, and roots will form a few days later. These can be planted w/mom.
As they grow a bit larger, you'll see little white/pink/purple flowers..Good luck and your plant is pretty..Toni

    Bookmark   June 10, 2007 at 4:10PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

I also known this plant by the botanical name Setcresea or Setcresea pallida, I saw it blooming in FLA last wk.

It's not a succulent, actually it's a tropical, is very easy, has pretty blooms & from what I recall behaves much like a common Wandering Jew.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2007 at 12:05PM
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hopefulauthor - Thank you!

I'll relay the 'non-succulent' truth to my friend. ;)

    Bookmark   June 11, 2007 at 12:17PM
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The whole Tradescantia / Setcreasea thing is another example of people changing the name because scientists decided that they were more related to one thing than another. I knew it as Setcreasea purpurea before I saw it called Tradescantia pallida. (And there was apparently a transitional period of Setcreasea pallida, too.)

    Bookmark   June 11, 2007 at 12:45PM
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milwdave(Zone5 Milwaukee)

By all means!...plant it out! It roots so easily you'll have no problem taking cuttings to overwinter from year to year. And the combo of those nice deep purple leaves and lighter purple flowers makes it well worth the effort. Put it someplace that it likes and it MIGHT even make it through the winter outdoors.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2007 at 1:41AM
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lynne_melb(z9b Melb FL)

It's very pretty. Be aware though, that some people are very sensitive to the sap from the plant.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2007 at 12:03PM
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yukichan(z9 FL)

This stuff will survive just about anything here in FL. After the last hurricane season our yard was under 3' of water for a week. Anything that wasn't a tree died, but these things are still crowding out everything else in my front bed. I've seen them growing in everything from deep shade to full sun. They produce tiny lighter purple flowers.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2007 at 11:50PM
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