Genus of the Week
Week of March 1-7
This page has been created for people who want to learn more about plants, especially in the
context of their taxonomy (Latin names, etc.). This is by no means an exhaustive list of
all available Web resources for a particular genus.
If you like this page, you should also visit the Land of the Glandular Trichomes
, a microscopic look at plants in the Lamiaceae family.
This week's genus:
Number of Species: approximately 35
Root: Named for John Tradescant, a famous English naturalist. During the 17th century,
John was the head gardener for both King Charles I and the Earls of Salisbury. (Thanks to
Biography.com for providing some of this information!)
Plants in the genus Tradescantia are known mainly for their ornamental value.
Horticulturists may recognize this genus by its more familiar common names including Spiderwort
and Wandering Jew. The common name Wandering Jew comes from the fact that gardeners were
trading cuttings of that species long before the horticultural industry developed, allowing
the plant to "travel" all over the world. If you have Tradescantia as a houseplant you
know it as something very easy to care for and propagate. While some people admire the plants of
this genus for their attractive 3-petaled flowers, others consider the young stems and leaves to
be a tasty snack!
Here are some links to images and information for the genus Tradescantia:
- Click here
to see a beautiful picture of a Tradescantia flower from a web site in Germany.
- Dr. Stephen Wolniak of the University of Maryland is working with Tradescantia to
study aspects of mitosis. When you
visit his page, be sure to click on the link to the image of a Tradescantia flower -
it is an amazing close-up displaying this flower's beautiful stamen hairs!
- James P. Braselton at Ohio University in Athens has created web page with a
confocal image of Meiotic
Metaphase I in Tradescantia. For more information on confocal imagery, go
- Here is a link to a really cool
scanning electron micrograph (210Kb) of the epidermis of a Tradescantia leaf, brought
to you by the Montpelier High School Imaging Laboratory, located in Vermont.
- The Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center has prepared a page for
T. bracteata as part of its "Native Wildflowers of the North Dakota Grasslands" web
pages. See an image of this native plant growing in the wild and read about its history and
- Crockett, James Underwood. Crockett's Indoor Garden
- Heywood, V.H., ed. Flowering Plants of the World. New York, Oxford University Press: 1993.
|If you have comments on "Genus of the Week" or suggestions for a future genus, |
Click on the envelope and send me some email!
Current Genus of the Week
Jenn's Home Page