Prime destination for succulent lovers

Callisia navicularis (Chain Plant)


Scientific Name

Callisia navicularis (Ortgies) D.R.Hunt

Common Names

Chain Plant, Inch Plant, Striped Inch Plant, Window's Tears, Day Flower


Tradescantia navicularis, Phyodina navicularis

Scientific Classification

Family: Commelinaceae
Subfamily: Commelinoideae
Tribe: Tradescantieae
Subtribe: Tradescantiinae
Genus: Callisia


Callisia navicularis, also known as Tradescantia navicularis, is a creeping succulent with some short stems growing upright with tight overlapping leaves and other stems with leaves more open and spreading along the ground, from which the shorter stems and flowers arise. The stems are fleshy and clasped tightly by thick and waxy, deeply guttered, lance-shaped leaves. They are held in a distichous arrangement on opposite sides of the stem. The leaves are bronze-green above and streaked purple below. They are up to 1.2 inches (3 cm) long and up to 0.8 inches (2 cm) wide. When grown in bright light in summer, the bright lilac-pink flowers open in the morning and close later in the afternoon. They last only one day.


USDA hardiness zones 9a to 11b: from 20 °F (−6.7 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Growing Tradescantia is easy, and you will find the plants to be quite resilient. These plants typically grow in moist, well-drained, and acidic (pH 5 to 6) soil. Tradescantias do best in partial shade but will do equally well in sunny areas as long as the soil is kept moist.

You can grow Tradescantia indoors too as long as suitable conditions are given. Provide the plant with either a soilless mix or loam-based potting compost and keep it in bright filtered light. You should also pinch out the growing tips to encourage bushier growth.

Allow it to spend warm spring and summer days outdoors, if feasible. During its active growth, water moderately and apply a balanced liquid fertilizer every four weeks. Water sparingly in winter.

These plants like to be kept fairly moist, so water regularly, especially if you are growing them in containers. Cutting the plants back once flowering has ceased can often promote a second bloom and help prevent re-seeding. Cut the stems back about 8 to 12 inches (20 to 30 cm) from the ground. See more at How to Grow and Care for Tradescantia.


Callisia navicularis is native to Mexico.


Photo Gallery

Subscribe now and be up to date with our latest news and updates.

Share this with other succulent lovers!