Plantidote of the Day 2011-11-30
Moses in the Bulrushes / Oyster Plant
Tradesantia spathacea variegata
File this under “Tropicals and tender perennials” zones 8b – 11. Sun to partial shade, 12-24” depending on the variety of Tradesantia spathacea, they are related to the old fashioned Wandering Jew houseplant. And like the Wandering Jew, make excellent houseplants under filtered light. It flowers year round in tropical climates, and whether outside or inside, higher humidity is key to it thriving.
This particular plant does well in partial shade here in NJ and is lifted and greenhoused for the winter. The “moses in the bulrushes” name comes from the small white flowers that appear in boat shaped bracts. The roots have an oyster like flavor and can be chopped up to be made into chowder.
WARNING #1: In the warmer zones it is very aggressive, manages drought conditions quite well, and has been listed on the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council's Pest Plant List (FLEPPC) as a Category One Invasive. Here is Jersey it dies back completely in the winter, so I pull a few of the smaller ones inside and replant them in the spring.
WARNING #2: it does cause allergic reactions in people and pets.
[Edit 11/30/2011 10:55am to correct lightbox code. KN]
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