Tradescantia

Also known as:
Wandering Jew, Wandering Willie
Family:
Commelinaceae
Origin:
South America

General description

Hairless, succulent creeping plant <50cm tall. Alternate, oval, shining leaves form a sheath around stem. Clusters of white star-shaped flowers (Aug-Nov).

Streams, alluvial flats, lowland forests, coastal areas, damp shrublands, wetland margins. Prefers cool, moist, shaded conditions.

Doesn’t set seed in New Zealand. Succulent stems break off & root easily & are dispersed by water, animals, people, & machinery. Spread locally by creeping.

Serious forest floor competitor forming dense mats that smother vegetation & prevent regeneration. Causes dermatitis in dogs & other animals.

Site management

Exclude livestock at all times. Work down catchment from top & sides. Maintain strict regime to prevent reinfestation from fragments & regrowth; don’t replant until site is clear.

Recommended approaches

1. Weedmat for several months.
2. Rake or hand pull small areas during a dry period, working towards centre of infestation. Major disposal problem, dropped fragments spread infestation.
3. Weed wipe (250ml triclopyr/L). Follow up within 2-3 months before plant recovers. 2-3 treatments needed for total control.
4. Spray larger areas (60ml triclopyr + 10ml penetrant/10L or 300ml glyphosate + 30ml penetrant/10L near waterways). Should give 90+% kill. Follow up as above.

Caution: when using any herbicide or pesticide PLEASE READ THE LABEL THOROUGHLY to ensure that all instructions and safety requirements are followed.

RPMS status

Surveillance - Whole Region
National Pest Plant Accord species - nationwide
tradescantia - Main species image