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PlantFiles: Purple Heart, Purple Queen, Wandering Jew
Tradescantia pallida 'Purewell Giant'

Family: Commelinaceae (ko-mel-ih-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Tradescantia (trad-es-KAN-tee-uh) (Info)
Species: pallida (PAL-lid-duh) (Info)
Cultivar: Purewell Giant

47 members have or want this plant for trade.


12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

9-12 in. (22-30 cm)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Blooms all year

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
This plant is suitable for growing indoors

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From leaf cuttings
From herbaceous stem cuttings
By simple layering
By air layering
By tip layering
By serpentine layering
By stooling or mound layering

Seed Collecting:
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

Click thumbnail
to view:

By palmbob
Thumbnail #1 of Tradescantia pallida by palmbob

By kniphofia
Thumbnail #2 of Tradescantia pallida by kniphofia


6 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive huckaby On May 9, 2013, huckaby from Madison, GA wrote:

I have always loved this plant,I work at a nursery and people a
re always wanting this plant. I used to have alot of it and it will take over thankfully its not a vine, if any body wants to get rid of some I'll take it

Positive Neuling On Feb 6, 2008, Neuling from Carrollton, TX wrote:

I first encountered this plant after it had apparently dominated a quaint apartment complex for nearly thirty years. These plants were literally in every flowerbed,and hugging around the underside of hedges and trees. It made for a lovely accent against the peach stones.

We had a bare spot out front where the previous tenants had removed some flowers, so I took a few cuttings from the nearby Purple Queens and within weeks I had several small plants dotting the bare spot. In less than three months they were deep purple and thriving very well. By six months they were intwined and slowly fighting for sunlight.

I took some more cuttings and found the plant did well indoors too. However, the low light didn't encourage the deep purple. Instead they were a pale green with only a purple hue around the leaves.

All in all, this is an impressive plant, but I would recommend paying close attention to the plant outside, they tend to have a Napolean complex.

Positive blugld On Oct 15, 2007, blugld from Fort Mill, SC (Zone 7b) wrote:

Have had around a flowerbed for at least 7 yrs and it comes back every year. I don't feed or water it and in the awful drought we are having this year, it's still growing. Morning shade and hot afternoon sun.

Positive Kittylover On Sep 20, 2007, Kittylover from Carrollton, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Purple Heart, Purple Queen, Wandering Jew 'Purewell Giant' Tradescantia pallida
This is the upright deep purple purple heart - beautiful mounding plant- will spread from a small plant to a big bush - I tried some of the other listed above it -
It did not compare - more of a weed stems laying on top of one another in a tangled mess and the color is more a muted burgundy - no wonder there are so many mixed reviews

Positive JanetS On Feb 2, 2006, JanetS from Braselton, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

This plant is hardy in my zone. I have had it for four to five years and have used offshoots (that root easily in water or soil) in hanging baskets as well as to start new accent beds. Have also shared with neighbors that stop to ask about where to find it. Spreads readily and blooms its little heart out all season. Great goundcover for added color.

Positive JD948 On Sep 13, 2005, JD948 from Crawfordville, FL wrote:

I love this plant. I used to have it years ago in the Panama Canal Zone. It does very well in north Florida (8b). I use it as a border with Blue Plumbago's in between my lawn & road. I bought 14 plants for an area about 70'x8' knowing how easily the rest of the area can be filled in.

Neutral palmbob On Aug 31, 2005, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

if this is what I think it is... larger, wider leaves, slighly fuzzier, but otherwise the same plant. Seems slower growing, and mine has resented hot blazing sun, which the regular form does not.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Birmingham, Alabama
Huntsville, Alabama
Irvington, Alabama
Toney, Alabama
Glendale, Arizona
Tucson, Arizona
Garden Grove, California
Brooksville, Florida
Crawfordville, Florida
Fort Myers, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida
Saint Petersburg, Florida
West Palm Beach, Florida
Winter Haven, Florida
Blakely, Georgia
Braselton, Georgia
Kennesaw, Georgia
Lawrenceville, Georgia
Madison, Georgia
Chillicothe, Illinois
Mount Sterling, Kentucky
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Gonzales, Louisiana (2 reports)
Richmond, Maine
Easton, Maryland
Columbus, Mississippi
Edgewood, New Mexico
Huntington Station, New York
Thomasville, North Carolina
Chambersburg, Pennsylvania
Fort Mill, South Carolina
Gramling, South Carolina
North Augusta, South Carolina
Piedmont, South Carolina
Chattanooga, Tennessee
Arlington, Texas
Beaumont, Texas
Brazoria, Texas
Carrollton, Texas (2 reports)
Deer Park, Texas
Desoto, Texas
Houston, Texas
Katy, Texas
Rowlett, Texas
San Antonio, Texas
Sterling, Virginia
Woodbridge, Virginia
Spangle, Washington

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