Haven't our prople suffered enough?Great, so now we’re an invasive weed, too.

I wish I was making this up.

Tradescantia pallida or Setcreasea purpurea, commonly called the Wandering Jew is native to America and is found from the southern United States through South America; in many areas it is considered an invasive weed.

The Green Wandering Jew with white flowers is a common and invasive weed in Australia. In New Zealand, the plant Tradescantia fluminensis is known as Wandering Jew. It is an invasive weed in native bush areas and is consided a noxious weed or pest plant that landowners are responsible for eradicating because Tradescantia is distinctive in its ability to colonise in low light areas. It can form a dense mat under forest, which smothers low-growing plants and prevents the natural regeneration of taller native species. If left unchecked it can lead to the destruction of native forests…

…taking over the global plant economy, controlling the plant media and rigging plant-based elections. Behold, the Wandering Jew.

Thanks for the name, yo.

About the author

Laya Millman


  • Please tell me if wandering jew has another name. My cat ate some of it, and the vet needs to know the correct name for the plant. Thank you Barbie

  • Where can I buy the green wandering jew plant? I live in Phoenix, Az. And have checked all the nurseries. I know my mother used to have it and it grew like weeds. Thanks

  • Thrasher, I have bought several Wandering Jews, both the Green and the Purple at Home Depot over the years. My mother always had beautiful ones but I seem to keep killing mine. I recently switched to Swedish Ivy and it’s doing great. I wonder if that is an analogy to my dating relationships with Jewish men? Any Swedes out there?

  • hi

    does anyone know why the plant is called a “wandering jew?”

    thanks. v

  • I have a wandering jew about 4 plants 3 of them are doing well but the 4th not so much…what should i do?

  • I have this pest in my garden in Melbourne,and it pisses me off.I might try to get it to make aliyah
    to Isreal.That might stop its wandering.Cheers from OZ.

  • I just wish so much to have the purple varigated wandering jew plant. I have looked everywhere I know to look for one. If I could find someone who has a plant and would share two or three pieces I can root them in water or soil. They will root in water better than in soil from a cutting. Any help anyone will be appreciated.

  • hey does anybody know if this plant flower in blue? I have some and so does my neighbor. I have been carting my around for about 4 years now. I have been trying to figure out what it is. I only grows during the spring, summer and fall. It dies out in the winter. Its foliage looks like a wandering jew but my flowers are blue. any information is appreciated

  • I have the blue flowers on mine and it looks like a wandering jew, but my flowers are open in the morning and closes in the afternoon. My son thought it was a morning glory or sorts for that reason but it does not look like a morning glory. And it does spread on its own.

    • My guess is Commelina (dayflowers). If you live in Australia, C. cyanea (scurvy weed) can be a common edible groundcover. In the USA we have some natives but invasives from Asia are more common. C. tuberosa, from Mexico, has decent flowers. These all have green leaves (like Tradescantia fluminensis, but not the “purpleheart”, Tradescantia pallida / Setcretsia purpurea, photo at the top of this blog. Most Tradescantia and Commelina flowers “deliquesce” (sp?)–dissolve–after a day or less, though many are set, extending the season.