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

Established with a description by Graf (1959, p. 434, 1073).

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.
AvailabilityMass-produced and widely available, but often labelled only as the species.


Preserved as a herbarium specimen (“Tradescantia zebrina ‘Minima'”, 2022).

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

The entire plant can vary its appearance dramatically in different conditions – changing in growth habit, leaf shape, size, hairiness, and colour. It’s impossible to cover every possible variation, but this general summary describes a healthy plant.

SpeciesTradescantia zebrina.
Growth habitStems initially grow upright but soon start to sprawl and trail out of any container.
FoliageStems are 2-5mm wide, with internodes 2-5cm long. The colour ranges from light yellow green (144D) to greyish purple (N77A) or greyish reddish brown (200B), always dotted with lighter green freckles and completely hairless.

Leaves are very slightly asymmetrical pointed ovals, 4-7cm long and 2-3.5cm wide. The upper surface is slightly rough with warty bumps, and scattered with hairs. Each half of the leaf has a zigagged stripe running its length, taking up 30-50% its total width.

The base colour of the upper leaf surface is greyish olive green (NN137A) to dark greyish green (N189A). The stripes are light grey (191C) with a metallic sheen. On new growth in intense light, the base colour darkens to dark greyish reddish brown (200A) and the stripes become washed with greyish purple (N187B) to dark purple (79C).

The leaf undersides are dark purple (79A) to dark purplish red (N79B), with the central vein sometimes contrasting in moderate yellowish green (138A). Leaf sheaths are moderate yellow green (147C), usually with darker veins.


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

Tradescantia zebrina ‘Minima’. (2022). [Herbarium specimen, barcode WSY0168480]. RHS Wisley Herbarium.