Full nameTradescantia spathacea ‘Dwarf’.
Name statusAccepted, the valid name for a unique cultivar.

Established with a description by Nursery & Garden Industry Queensland (2011, p. 44). The name was also published much earlier by Phillips (1885, p. 23), but the description is not detailed enough to be certain it refers to the same plant.

Also known as:
ClassificationThe species Tradescantia spathacea is sometimes sold under its botanical synonyms Tradescantia discolor, Rhoeo spathacea, and Rhoeo discolor.
Legal protectionNone.
AvailabilityAvailable from many nurseries. Often only labelled with the species, because the full-sized form is not common in cultivation.


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

SpeciesTradecantia spathacea.
Growth habitGrows as a compact rosette of leaves on a fairly upright stem. Over time – especially in lower light – stems will become too long to support their own weight and start to trail.
FoliageStems are 4-10mm wide, with internodes 0.5-4cm long – becoming longer and thinner in low light. The colour is strong yellow green (143C), but the stem is usually completely covered by the overlapping leaf sheaths.

Leaves are very narrow ovals, around 15cm long and 3cm wide. The upper surface ranges from greyish olive green (NN137B) near the base to moderate olive green (147A) or dark greyish green (N189A) along the blade. The undersides are greysih purple (N187B), and sheaths are moderate yellow green (N148B).

All parts of the stem and leaves are completely hairless.
FlowersFlowers are rare. They are white, and form in small pockets among the base of the leaves near the stem.


Phillips, J. T. (1885). Sunny Side Spring Catalogue. Internet Archive link.

Nursery & Garden Industry Queensland. (2011). Grow Me Instead: A Guide for Gardeners in Queensland Wet Tropics. Internet Archive link.