‘Violet Hill’


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

Listed for sale since 2002 with no description, by Floricode (2022). The name was documented with a herbarium specimen (“Tradescantia zebrina”, 2014), and described in hardcopy by Hatch (2022).

Also known as:
The most widely-used name ‘Violet Hill’ is now accepted.
ClassificationThe species Tradescantia zebrina is sometimes labelled with its botanical synonyms Tradescantia pendula, Zebrina pendula and Cyanotis zebrina.
Legal protectionNone.
AvailabilityMass-produced and widely available.


Preserved as a herbarium specimen (“Tradescantia zebrina ‘Violet Hill'”, 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 start to sprawl and trail out of any container.
FoliageStems are 3-6mm wide with internodes 1.5-6cm long, smooth and hairless. The colour is dark red (187A), dotted with lighter green freckles.

Leaves are asymmetrical pointed ovals, 6-10cm long and 3-5cm wide. The upper surface is slightly rough with warty bumps, and scattered with hairs. Each half of the leaf has a bold stripe running its length, taking up 50-70% its total width.

On new growth, the base colour of the upper leaf surface is dark purplish grey (N186A to N187A). The stripes are light grey (191C) with a very metallic shimmer. Leaf undersides are dark purplish red (N79A). Sheaths are moderate yellow green (147C), with strongly contrasting purple stripes.

In intense light, the stripes become streaked with dark purple (79C) to dark purplish red (N79B). In lower light, the purple pigments fade with age and older leaves become lighter green.
FlowersFlowers are uncommon, but typical for the species with light purple petals.


Tradescantia zebrina. (2014, November 27). [Herbarium specimen, barcode WSY0134987]. RHS Wisley Herbarium.

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.

Floricode. (2022). E-Barcodes. Internet Archive link.

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

Tradescantia zebrina ‘Violet Hill’. (2022). [Herbarium specimen, barcode WSY0168490]. RHS Wisley Herbarium.