Tradescantia fluminensis 'Aurea' (Golden Inch Plant) - An evergreen perennial groundcover to 6 to 8 inches tall on flat ground but clambering higher over objects and other plants and growing to several feet wide with bright glossy chartreuse colored leaves on lime green stems that cascade nicely and root at the nodes. Small white flowers appear at stems tips in spring and early summer.
Plant in full coastal sun but best in partial sun to shade in most any soil. Its nearly succulent stems make it tough enough to be irrigated only infrequently but it grows fastest and looks more lush with an occasional to regular watering. Hardy to 20-25° F. A nice groundcover on its own or growing through and with other plants where it can brighten up a shady area. Also makes a nice hanging plant.
The species Tradescantia fluminensis comes from Argentina and southern Brazil and is regarded as an invasive plant in many other parts of the world, but this yellow foliaged form is much more constrained. The name of the genus honors the English naturalists and plant collectors John Tradescant (ca. 1570s - 1638) or possibly his son John Tradescant the Younger (1608-1662). It was at one time believed that John Tradescant the Younger first brought the Virginia Spriderwort, Tradescantia virginiana, back to England in 1637 but some contend that the timeline suggests it more likely the plant was given to John Tradescant the elder, who was collector and traveler and also the gardener to the Earl of Salisbury, and not actually collected by either Tradescants. The name for the genus was one proposed by Linnaeus. The specific epithet comes from a Brazilian Portuguese word "fluminense" that comes from the Latin 'flumen' meaning "river" and the suffix 'ense' from the Latin 'ensis' meaning "originating in" in reference to the plant riparian habitat.
Information about Tradescantia fluminensis 'Aurea' displayed on this page is based on our research about it conducted in our library and gathered from reliable online sources. We include observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery gardens and in other gardens that we have visited, as well as how the crops have performed in containers in our own nursery field. We will also incorporate comments that we receive from others about this plant when we feel it adds information and particularly welcome hearing from anyone who has any additional cultural recommendations that would aid others in growing it.