‘Discolor Multicolor’


Full nameTradescantia zebrina ‘Discolor Multicolor’.
Name statusAccepted, the valid name for a unique cultivar.

Established with a description by Graf (1959, p. 1073). The same publication includes a photograph of the cultivar mislabelled as ‘Quadricolor’, along with a photo of ‘Quadricolor’ which is mislabelled as ‘Discolor Multicolor’ (p. 435).

Also known as:
ClassificationThe species Tradescantia zebrina is sometimes labelled with its botanical synonyms Tradescantia pendula, Tradescantia argentea, Zebrina pendula and Cyanotis zebrina.
Legal protectionNone.
AvailabilityAvailable from many nurseries.


Preserved as a herbarium specimen (“Tradescantia zebrina ‘Discolor Multicolor'”, 2023).

Described with reference to the RHS Colour Chart (6th Edition: 2019 reprint).

SpeciesTradescantia zebrina.
Growth habitStems initially grow upright but soon start to sprawl and trail out of any container.
FoliageStems are 2-4mm thick, with internodes 1-4cm long. The colour ranges from greyish purple (N77A) to moderate yellow green (147D). All stems are dotted with lighter green freckles, and completely hairless.

Leaves are slightly asymmetrical pointed ovals, 5-9cm long and 2-4.5cm wide, smooth except for a few hairs at the top of the sheath. Each leaf has a broken or streaked band running the whole length of the leaf, covering less than 30% of its total width. The leaves also have random sectoral variegation, with pale sectors covering from 0-100% of each leaf.

The base colour of the upper surface is greyish olive green (NN137A) to moderate yellowish green (138A), and the streaked bands are light grey (191C) with a shimmering texture. The pale sectors range from moderate yellow (160A) to dark greenish yellow (152D) on new growth, and very pale purple (75D) to pinkish grey (201D) on mature leaves. In bright light the leaf margins and central vein are stained deep purplish red (71A).

The undersides are moderate yellow green (138B) to dark purplish red (N79B) under dark sectors, and pale yellow green (157A) to strong purple (N80B) under pale sectors. Leaf sheaths are light grey (191C) to strong purple (N80B).
FlowersRare or unheard-of in cultivation.


Graf, A. B. (1959). Exotica 2: Pictorial Cyclopedia of Indoor Plants. Roehrs Company.

Tradescantia zebrina ‘Discolor Multicolor’. (2023). [Herbarium specimen, barcode WSY0155547]. RHS Wisley Herbarium.