Tradescantia roseolens

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Tradescantia roseolens
Trad rose.jpg
Photo by Shirley Denton (Copyrighted, use by photographer’s permission only), Nature Photography by Shirley Denton
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class: Liliopsida – Monocotyledons
Order: Commelinales
Family: Commelinaceae
Genus: Tradescantia
Species: T. roseolens
Binomial name
Tradescantia roseolens
Trad rose dist.jpg
Natural range of Tradescantia roseolens from USDA NRCS Plants Database.

Common names: Longleaf spiderwort, Sandhill spiderwort

Taxonomic notes

Synonym: Tradescantia longifolia Small.[1]

The specific epithet roseolens is derived from the fragrant tea-rose smell emitted from the flower.[2]


A description of Tradescantia roseolens is provided in The Flora of North America.

T. roseolens is similar to T. longifolia; however, T. roseolens can be differentiated by having smaller fragrant flowers and glandless stems.[2]


Tradescantia roseolens is endemic to an area from southern South Carolina to peninsular Florida, but the majority is found in Florida.[3] It is listed as imperiled in Georgia.[4]



Habitats of T. roseolens include Florida rosemary balds, oak scrubs, hammocks, sandhills, pinewoods, and roadsides.[5][6] Associated species include Ceratiola, Quercus inopina, Q. geminata and Q. chapmanii. In Florida rosemary balds, T. roseolens was found to be positively associated with patch isolation.[7]


Flowers February through March.[5][8]

Fire ecology

Long periods of fire suppression can hinder the response of ephemeral, resprouting/seeding herbs such as T. roseolens. Fire has been observed to revitalize populations in recently burned sites.[9]


The stamens have scent-producing hairs that attract pollinators. T. roseolens has 6 pollen baring anthers, allowing several flies to feed simultaneously on one flower. Deyrup (1988) observed that P. punctipennis was the most abundant insect on T. roseolens at Archbold Biological Station. Additionally, sweat bees such as Lasioglossum nymphalis, L. placidensis and L. puteulanum (family Halictidae) were observed visiting flowers of Tradescantia roseolens at the Archbold Biological Station:[10]

Conservation, cultivation, and restoration

Cultural use

The stems and leaves are edible.[11]

Photo Gallery

References and notes

Deyrup, M. A. (1988). "Pollen-Feeding in Poecilognathus punctipennis (Diptera: Bombyliidae)." The Florida Entomologist 71(4): 597-605.

  1. Weakley, A.S. 2015. Flora of the southern and mid-atlantic states. Working Draf of 21 May 2015. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Small, J. K. (1924). "Plant Novelties from Florida." Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club 51(9): 379-393.
  3. Sorrie, B. A. and A. S. Weakley 2001. Coastal Plain valcular plant endemics: Phytogeographic patterns. Castanea 66: 50-82.
  4. [[1]]NatureServe. Accessed: March 21, 2016
  5. 5.0 5.1 [[2]]Encyclopedia of Life. Accessed: March 21, 2016
  6. Florida State University Robert K. Godfrey Herbarium database. URL: Last accessed: November 2015. Collectors: Steven P. Christman, Robin B. Huck. States and Counties: Florida: Highlands. Compiled by Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.
  7. Quintana-Ascencio, P. F. and E. S. Menges (1996). "Inferring Metapopulation Dynamics from Patch-Level Incidence of Florida of Scrub Plants." Conservation Biology 10(4): 1210-1219.
  8. Nelson, G. PanFlora: Plant data for the eastern United States with emphasis on the Southeastern Coastal Plains, Florida, and the Florida Panhandle. Accessed: 19 MAY 2021
  9. Abrahamson, W. G. and C. R. Abrahamson (1996). "Effects of Fire on Long-Unburned Florida Uplands." Journal of Vegetation Science 7(4): 565-574.
  10. Deyrup, M.A. and N.D. 2015. Database of observations of Hymenoptera visitations to flowers of plants on Archbold Biological Station, Florida, USA.
  11. Fernald, et al. 1958. Edible Plants of Eastern North America. Harper and Row Publishers, New York.