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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 is a low growing, trailing perennial succulent. The leaves are very succulent, boat-like, grey-green to viney, up to 1.2 inches (3 cm) long and up to 0.8 inch (2 cm) wide. The flowers are lilac to bright magenta. It blooms in summer. The flowers open early in the morning and close in the afternoon, and last only one day.

How to Grow and Care

Growing Tradescantia is easy and you’ll find the plants to be quite resilient. They’re hardy in USDA plant hardiness zones 4-9 and will tolerate more than what one would expect. Tradescantia typically grow in moist, well-drained and acidic (pH 5 to 6) soil, though I have found the plants to be quite forgiving in the garden and tolerant of many soil conditions. Tradescantia plants do best in partial shade but will do equally well in sunny areas as long as the soil is kept moist. These plants like to be kept fairly moist, so water regularly, especially if you’re growing them in containers.

Cutting the plants back once flowering has ceased can often promote a second bloom and will help prevent re-seeding. Cut the stems back about 8 to 12 inches (20 to 30 cm) from the ground. Since Tradescantia is a vigorous grower, it’s probably a good idea to divide the plants in spring every three years or so… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Tradescantia


Native to Mexico.


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