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Tradescantia ernestiana E. S. Anderson & Woodson
Life   Plantae   Monocotyledoneae   Commelinaceae   Tradescantia

Tradescantia ernestiana, leaf and flower
© George Yatskievych, 2003 · 1
Tradescantia ernestiana, leaf and flower

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Tradescantia ernestiana  E.S. Andrs. & Woods.

Tradescantia ernestiana plant

Family - Commelinaceae

Stems - To +30cm long(tall), herbaceous, with thickened fleshy roots, erect, simple, glabrous or very sparsely pubescent.

Leaves - Dense on the stem, alternate, glabrous, to 25cm long, 4cm broad, entire, with undulate margins, attenuate, sheathing at the base, with parallel venation. Sheaths to +/-2cm broad.

Tradescantia ernestiana leaf

Inflorescence - Terminal fascicle of +/-15 flowers blooming 1-3 at a time. Pedicels to 3.5cm long, glabrous or with a few pilose hairs near apex, erect in flower, nodding in fruit.

Flowers - Petals pinkish-purple to blue, glabrous, +/-1.5cm long and broad, ovate, with slightly crisped margins. Stamens 6, erect. Filaments with purple multicellular pubescence. Anthers yellow, 2-lobed, 2.1mm broad, 1.4mm long. Ovary 3-locular, white, glabrous, 3-angled. Placentation axile. Style purple, glabrous, 6-7mm long. Sepals 3, lance-ovate, green, cupped, ciliate, to 1.4cm long, 6-7mm broad.

Tradescantia ernestiana calyx Calyx.

Tradescantia ernestiana flower

Flowering - April - May.

Habitat - Mesic upland woods, streambanks, ravines, shaded bluffs.

Origin - Native to U.S.

Other info. - This striking species is found in a handful of southern Ozark counties. The plant is smaller than most others in the genus but has good-sized flowers.
T. ernestiana has a short flowering season but would still make a good shade garden specimen if adequate moisture could be provided.

Photographs taken at the Noblett Lake Recreational Area, Douglas County, MO., 4-15-01.

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Tradescantia ernestiana E.S. Anderson & Woodson
Ernest's spiderwort

General Information
Symbol: TRER4
Group: Monocot
Family: Commelinaceae
Duration: Perennial
Growth Habit : Forb/herb
Native Status : L48   N
Data Source and Documentation
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Native Status:
lower 48 status L48    Alaska status AK    Hawaii status HI    Puerto Rico status PR    Virgin Islands status VI    Navassa Island NAV    Canada status CAN    Greenland status GL    Saint Pierre and Michelon status SPM    North America NA   





Click on a scientific name below to expand it in the PLANTS Classification Report.
Rank Scientific Name and Common Name
Kingdom Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class Liliopsida – Monocotyledons
Subclass Commelinidae
Order Commelinales
Family Commelinaceae – Spiderwort family
Genus Tradescantia L. – spiderwort
Species Tradescantia ernestiana E.S. Anderson & Woodson – Ernest's spiderwort

Subordinate Taxa

This plant has no children

Legal Status

Wetland Status

Interpreting Wetland Status

Related Links

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Flora of North America (TRER4)
Integrated Taxonomic Information System (TRER4)
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center Native Plant Information Network (TRER4)



Source Large Mammals Small Mammals Water Birds Terrestrial Birds


Source Large Mammals Small Mammals Water Birds Terrestrial Birds

Description of Values

Value Class Food Cover

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Following modified from Flora of North America
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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 22 | Commelinaceae | Tradescantia

4. Tradescantia ernestiana E. S. Anderson & Woodson, Contr. Arnold Arbor. 9: 58, plate 8, map 4. 1935.

Herbs, erect or ascending, rarely rooting at nodes. Roots (1--)1.5--5 mm thick, fleshy. Stems not flexuous, 5--40 cm; internodes usually glabrous. Leaves spirally arranged, sessile; blade dull green, linear-lanceolate to lanceolate-oblong, 9--27 ´ 1--4 cm (distal leaf blades wider than sheaths when sheaths opened, flattened), base cuneate to rounded, apex acuminate, not glaucous, glabrous or sparsely puberulent. Inflorescences terminal; bracts foliaceous. Flowers distinctly pedicillate; pedicels 2--3.2 cm, minutely pilose; sepals somewhat inflated, 9--16 mm, uniformly eglandular-pilose; petals distinct, deep blue, purple, or rose-red, broadly ovate, not clawed, 1.2--1.5 cm; stamens free; filaments bearded. Capsules 5--7 mm. Seeds 2--3 mm. 2n = 12.

Flowering spring (Mar--May). Wooded hillsides, ledges and bluffs, occasionally along streams or in pastures; Ala., Ark., Ga., Mo., Okla., Tex.

Tradescantia ernestiana is sympatric with, and easily confused with, T. virginiana in northern Alabama and perhaps northern Georgia [reported from Georgia by C. Sinclair (1967, p. 87), but no specimens are cited and I have seen none]. At present, the two species can be separated only by the relative width of the blade and sheath of the distal leaves. They are obviously closely related and should be studied in the field in the southern Appalachians where their ranges overlap. The Texas record is taken from C. Sinclair (1967).

The hybrid Tradescantia ernestinana ´ T. ozarkana is known from Arkansas and Missouri.

Updated: 2019-09-15 07:38:28 gmt
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