Tradescantia, Moses-in-a-Basket, Boatlily, Oyster Plant, Golden Rhoeo 'Sitara Gold'

Tradescantia spathacea

Family: Commelinaceae (ko-mel-ih-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Tradescantia (trad-es-KAN-tee-uh) (Info)
Species: spathacea (spath-ay-SEE-uh) (Info)
Cultivar: Sitara Gold


Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade


Grown for foliage


Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


6-12 in. (15-30 cm)

12-18 in. (30-45 cm)


12-15 in. (30-38 cm)


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)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Unknown - Tell us

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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:

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

From leaf cuttings

From herbaceous stem cuttings

Seed Collecting:

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


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Oceanside, California

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Jacksonville, Florida

North Fort Myers, Florida

Galveston, Texas

Gardeners' Notes:


On Apr 24, 2016, sunkissed from Winter Springs, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

I found this recently at my local nursery, loved the beauty of the colorful foliage. The nursery had them in full sun and there was a bit of leaf burn on the tips, other than that the plant looks healthy. I'm thankful for the comments on here because I was all set to put this in an irrigated sunny spot. After research I find this plant doesn't like too much water and won't be happy in rainy climates with lots of rain. I thought about taking it back, but it only cost four dollars and the beautiful foliage is worth a try. I did pot it in a clay pot and have it in a spot where it will get early morning and late evening sun, under tree canopy to take up some of the rain. Since it is potted and when we get into our heavy rain season, I'll move it under the canopy. Also this one has been reporte... read more


On Nov 23, 2013, BayAreaTropics from Hayward, CA wrote:

My first try with this marginal plant. I bought it reduced in price since it wasn't liking the nursery care I suppose in late summer. The leaves had burnt,wilty tips. I put it in a plastic pot for bulbs-- about 8",maybe 10". Its reviving,but slow and we are almost into winter. From the other members comments,I would guess this to be the most tender of the Rhoeo's. And would only be reliable in a 10b zone.

To me, it resembles some of those very expensive Broms. If its adapted to your climate,a very attractive plant.


On Apr 3, 2013, krisbmn from International Falls, MN wrote:

I have a moses in the cradle as a house plant..It keeps growing very tall..I have it tied to a dowel to keep it from falling over..Is it okay to cut/pinch it down..


On Apr 28, 2009, trackinsand from mid central, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

a colorful addition to the "oyster plant family". this species will die to the ground in winter in central florida but usually comes back. it is not as hardy as T. pallida, Purple Queen though.

i plan on keeping this one in a pot and moving to the garage during frosts. i believe it needs a bit of shade in the afternoon. the leaf tips on these were burned when i bought them. the nursery had them in full sun on black plastic.

this one died out when we had an unusually cold winter. i planned on protection for it and did cover it but i lost it. it seemed never to be very happy anyhow so it's not a great loss....difficult plant, at least for me.