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(Tradescantia spp)


Identifying characteristics:

A perennial herbaceous plant that can reach a height of 1 - 2 feet. The plant is weak stemmed. It sometimes grows erect, but is often sprawling. The leaves are lanceolate shaped. Three petaled flowers bloom in morning, but close when the sun shines on them in the afternoon. On cloudy days, you may still find the flowers in bloom. The flowers range in color from white to pink to purple, but are most often blue with 6 yellow anthers.


Wooded Areas, Prairies, Open Fields

Parts Used:

Leaves, Stems


Wild Food Uses:

The leaves can be eaten raw in salads, or as a trail nibble. The stems can also be eaten raw, or used as a cooked vegetable.

The following text is meant for informational purposes only. It is not meant to diagnose or treat any illness or injury. Always consult with a physician or other qualified medical care provider concerning the diagnosis and treatment of any illness or injury.

Medicinal Uses:

Native Americans brewed a root tea to alleviate "female" ailments, as well as stomach and kidney ailments. It also has a laxative effect. There is anecdotal evidence that a poultice made from the leaves and stems of the plant are soothing when applied to insect bites and stings.

Medicinal Actions:

Aperient, Demulcent, Diuretic, Stomachic

Photos courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

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Revised: 05/11/16 Living Afield