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Tradescantia sillamontana (White Velvet)

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Scientific Name

Tradescantia sillamontana Matuda

Common Names

White Velvet, White Gossamer Plant, Hairy Wandering Jew, Cobweb Spiderwort

Synonyms

Tradescantia pexata

Scientific Classification

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

Description

Tradescantia sillamontana is a very distinctive, low-growing, evergreen perennial, up to 18 inches (45 cm) tall with thick, succulent stems, holding up to 2 inches (5 cm) long leaves. They are arranged in 2 ranks, with each 180 degrees across from the other to give a very interesting geometric pattern. The leaves are a dull olive to gray-green, sometimes blushed purple. The leaves and new stems are so heavily covered with cobwebby, silver-white hairs and the plant appears quite silver. In summer appear the single, magenta flowers with 3 petals that are crowded into the terminal leaf axils.

Photo via green-24.de

Hardiness

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 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 summers days outdoors, if feasible. During its active growth, water moderately and apply a balanced liquid fertilizer every 4 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 will 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

Origin

Native to the New World from southern Canada south to northern Argentina including the West Indies.

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