‘Purple Pixie’


Full nameTradescantia pallida ‘Purple Pixie’
Name statusAccepted, the valid name for a unique cultivar.

Established with a description by Hatch (2022).

Also known as:
  • ‘Purple Heart’, an invalid name.
  • ‘Purple Passion’, an invalid name used for multiple cultivars.
  • ‘Black Queen’, an invalid name.
OriginsThe origins are unknown, but it was most likely a sport or seedling from Tradescantia pallida ‘Purpurea’. First grown by PT Florion in Indonesia (G. J. Hendriks, personal correspondence, February 2022). Introduced by G. J Hendriks in the Netherlands some time before 2018 (Plantlin, 2018). Named by Jenny Moore in the UK.
ClassificationThe species Tradescantia pallida is sometimes labelled with its botanical synonyms Setcreasea pallida and Setcreasea purpurea.
Legal protectionNone.
AvailabilityInternationally mass-produced, although often sold with invalid trade names instead of its correct name.


Preserved as a herbarium specimen (“Tradescantia pallida ‘Purple Pixie'”, 2022).

This description is based on growth at temperatures of 20-25ºC with a 12-hour artificial light cycle, with reference to the RHS Colour Chart (6th edition; 2019 reprint).

SpeciesTradescantia pallida.
Growth habitGrowth is initially fairly upright, but long stems will eventually start to trail.
FoliageThe stems are compact with internodes around 2cm in good conditions, greyish purple (N77A). Leaves are wide ovals, around 10cm long and 4-5cm wide at maturity, usually slightly furry all over. Upper leaf surfaces are dark purplish grey (N186A-N186B), lower surfaces are dark purple (79A), and stem sheaths are strong purple (77B).
FlowersFlowers are generally rare but the typical pink colour for the species.
ComparisonsIn comparison to Tradescantia pallida ‘Purpurea’, this cultivar has shorter stems, wider leaves, and more reddish colours.


Brickell, C. D., Alexander, C., Cubey, J. J., David, J. C., Hoffman, M. H. A., Leslie, A. C., Malécot, V., Jin, X. (2016). International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants. PDF link.

Plantlin. (2018). Tradescantia pallida ‘Purple Passion’. Garden. Web archive link.

Hatch, L. (2022). Commelinaceae: A Guide to Modern and Historic Cultivars.

Tradescantia pallida ‘Purple Pixie’. (2022). [Herbarium specimen, barcode WSY0168497]. RHS Wisley Herbarium.