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Plantidote of the Day 2011-11-30

Kathryn's picture

Oyster Plant

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]

Readers, please send twig ( images and stories for the ongoing Plantidote of the Day series. In exchange, you'll win undying fame in the form of a hat tip! Plants growing in your garden, your house, or neighbor's yard, plants from the forest or farmers' market, plants you preserved, plants you prepared (wine; cider; tea; dried beans), plants you harvested (grains; chanterelles), plants you picked (flowers), plants you dried (herbs), plants you covet or hope to grow someday. Herbal remedies, propagation tips, new varieties, etc.. And if you can, include some solid detail about the plant, too -- a story, the genus and species, or where you got the seeds, or the recipe, or your grandmother gave it to you. Or challenge us with a "Name That Plant" mystery entry ... And please feel free to add corrections and additional information in the comments.

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twig's picture
Submitted by twig on

plus it's great to see Plantidote back in action -- along with the rest of Corrente, of course ;-) Thanks!!