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Tradescantia pallida, commonly known as Purple Heart Spiderwort (sometimes just Purple heart) or 'Purpurea' is an evergreen perennial with a vining quality, easily recognizable by the beautiful rich purple coloring of its foliage.
This plant is native to northeast Mexico, and was first discovered by botanist E. Palmer in 1907 in Tamaulipas. It then gained popularity as an ornamental plant in Europe and can now be found all over the world.
They can grow up to 8 inches (20 cm) in height, with each individual leaf reaching a maximum length of 6 inches (15 cm).
Purple Heart makes a wonderful and eye-catching trailing plant, so can be a good choice for hanging baskets or as outdoor ground cover.
Placing it in a brighter location can help encourage the leaves to show stronger purple coloring. On the other hand, if it's placed in a shady spot, the leaves will look greener in appearance.
These plants are quite easy-care, as they're tolerant of a number of conditions. For instance, they can handle a bit of drought, so don't worry too much if you accidentally miss a watering every now and then. However, they can also tolerate frequent watering - in short, they're quite adaptable. Another great thing about Purple Heart is that they're virtually disease-free. Try to give it plenty of light, keep it away from drafts, and maintain a warm temperature and it should stay happy.
Make sure to handle your Purple Heart with care, as they can be a bit fragile and may snap off in places if handled too roughly. So, although it may be tempting to pick it up and take a closer look at this lovely plant, try to admire it from afar instead! Likewise, it should ideally be placed somewhere in your home where it won't get brushed against often.
This plant can produce small pink flowers with only three petals during the warm season. These flowers only stay open during the morning, so don't be alarmed if you notice them start to close up!
Note that Purple Heart is considered to be an invasive plant in some locations as it can quickly spread to form a dense ground covering. Such locations include, for example, Puerto Rico and Cuba.