Tradescantia sillamontana Matuda
Cobweb Spiderwort, Hairy Wandering Jew, White Gossamer, Velvet Wandering Jew, White Gossamer Plant, White Velvet
This species is native to the mountains of Nuevo Leon in northern Mexico.
Tradescantia sillamontana is a densely branched plant with fleshy, prostrate to ascending stems bearing dull olive-green to gray-green leaves with a dense layer of white hairs. The stems are also covered with white hairs and grow up to 16 inches (40 cm) long, rooting at the soil surface. Leaves are ovate, folded, arranged in 2 ranks, up to 2 inches (5 cm) long and half as wide. They turn bright purplish red under high light conditions. The underside of the leaves is reddish-purple. Flowers are bright purplish-pink with three petals and appear at apical growth points or in the axils of the bracts in summer.
The specific epithet "sillamontana (see-yuh-MON-tah-nuh)" means "of or from Cerro de la Silla" and refers to the mountain and natural monument located within the metropolitan area of the city of Monterrey, Nuevo León, in northeastern Mexico.
USDA hardiness zones 10a to 11b: from 30 °F (−1.1 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
How to Grow and Care
Growing Tradescantia is easy, and you will find the plants 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 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. Water moderately during active growth 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 when growing in containers. Cutting the plants back once flowering has ceased can often promote a second bloom and help prevent re-seeding. Cut the stems about 8 to 12 inches (20 to 30 cm) from the ground.
See more at How to Grow and Care for Tradescantia.
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