Wandering Jew

Tradescantia fluminensis

Wandering Jew

Wandering Jew

Legal Status: Unwanted Organism - DOC
Status in New Zealand: Established
Organism: Land plants


Wandering Willy is a trailing, soft, hairless, perennial ground cover with succulent creeping stems that root at all nodes touching the ground. Dark-green, shiny, smooth and slightly fleshy leaves (3-6 cm long ) are oval, with pointed tips. White flowers (2 cm in diameter), produced from December to January, are three-petalled and in small clusters. Seeds are not produced.


This plant smothers ground in light to deep shade, preventing the seedlings of native species from establishing. It causes habitats to open and be invaded by exotic shrubs and vines. Mats growing on riverbanks can break away with water flow and contribute to flooding. It is spread by stem fragments, and via human activity such as the dumping of garden waste.

What to do

Contact your regional council to determine the status of this species and responsibility for control and/or advice on control.

Page last updated: 24 March 2009