Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

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

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

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..

 

 

More Invasive Plants Questions

Information on edible tubers of hog potato from Austin
November 10, 2011 - I inquired a while back about hog potato or Hoffmannseggia glauca. You gave me some information on the plant but no information on when the plant produces the edible tubers. Also how long does it take...
view the full question and answer

Advisability of growing Silybum marianum (Milk thistle)
November 26, 2013 - I just received a load of clay-mix-dirt - and after our recent rains noticed the pile sprouting what looks like "Milk Thistle." Lots of them. The leaves are spiny and variegated - quite pretty. ...
view the full question and answer

Native alternatives for Chinest pistache
September 06, 2007 - We live just outside Kerrville on a lot with shallow soil over rock. We have built a raised bed for a shade tree and were considering a Chinese Pistache. However, I have since heard that they don't...
view the full question and answer

Plants that will do well in a water retention basin in White Stone Virginia
May 23, 2011 - I am looking for plants to grow under pine trees in a water retention basin. The pine trees line the basin. When it rains it will hold water for about two to three days before evaporating. I have p...
view the full question and answer

Dwarf oyster plant dying in Sunrise FL
July 06, 2012 - WHAT WOULD BE KILLING MY DWARF OYSTER PLANTS
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.