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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Tuesday - June 02, 2009

From: Royse City, TX
Region: Select Region
Topic: Invasive Plants
Title: Identity of Dwarf Oyster Plant.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

I purchased a plant from the local Home Depot, and it said on the sticker in was a Dwarf Oyster Plant. I can't seem to find any information on that name, so maybe it was marked wrong. See if you can help me. It is a long leaf plant, no flowers apparent, the leaves are purple on one side and kind of light purple on the other with green varigated stripes, they are about 4-6 inches in length, smooth and a little rubbery, no stems just leaves. Can you identify this plant?

ANSWER:

Dwarf Oyster Plant is one of several common names for Tradescantia spathacea; synonym : Rhoeo spathacea. Other common names include Moses in a boat/basket, and boat lily. Its native range is tropical and subtropical Americas, and has been narturalized in Louisiana and Florida where it is considered an invasive species. The dwarf oyster plant is a widely used ornamental and is considered less invasive than the larger variety..

 

 

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