‘Purple Plush’


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

Established with a description by Glasshouse Works (1984, p. 18). Although it was not the first name to be established, it has become the most widely used, so is now accepted (Brickell et al., 2016, Art. 29.2).

Also known as:
ClassificationIt has been listed as Tradescantia aff. albiflora (Glasshouse Works, 1984, p. 18), but is now accepted as Tradescantia zebrina. It is likely to be Tradescantia zebrina var. mollipila, but this has not been validated so it is not identified as a specific variety.
Legal protectionNone.
AvailabilityAvailable from many nurseries.


Preserved as a herbarium specimen (“Tradescantia zebrina ‘Purple Plush'”, 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, and colour. It’s impossible to cover every possible variation, but this general summary describes a typical healthy plant.

SpeciesTradescantia zebrina.
Growth habitStems initially grow upright, but soon begin to sprawl and trail as they get longer.
FoliageStems are 2-5mm wide with internodes 2-6cm long, smooth and hairless. The base colour is light olive grey (197A) to dark greyish reddish brown (200A), dotted with lighter green freckles.

Leaves are slightly asymmetrical pointed ovals, 5-7cm long and 3-4cm wide. The upper and lower surfaces are usually covered with long hairs. Unlike most T. zebrina cultivars, there are no silver bands on the leaves.

The upper surfaces are moderate olive green (137A) to strong yellow green (143C). In intense light, they form bold pinstripes of greyish reddish brown (200B) to dark purplish grey (N187A). The undersides are greyish reddish purple (N77C) to dark purple (79C), with strong yellow green (144A) to moderate yellw green (138B) veins. Sheaths are moderate yellow green (147C).
FlowersStrong purple (N82B) with white anthers.


Glasshouse Works. (1984). [Catalogue]. UC Davis Library.

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.

Tradescantia zebrina ‘Purple Plush’. (2022). [Herbarium specimen, barcode WSY0168491]. RHS Wisley Herbarium.