Scientific Name: Tradescantia
Common Name: Wandering Jew
Native range & habitat of species: Wandering
Jew are commonly found in tropical rain forests. However, Wandering Jew
are also in the United States. They are found mostly in moist, nutrient
Description of plant: Wandering
Jew is a suitable plant for a hanging pot. It is also used as a ground
cover. Wandering Jew have 2" wide 4" long leaves. Their elongated with
pointed tips. They are striped dark green and silver. The underside of
the leaves are purplish. Wandering Jew foliage can be several feet in length
which makes this plant most likeable for horticultural use.
Biological Information: The
Wandering Jew should not be kept in direct sunlight but in a humid area.
The ideal temperature for growth is between 60 and 80 degrees. The plant
will grow rapidly if watered enough and fertilized properly. It is a good
plant for beginners because it is easy to care for. The Zebrina pendula,
which is another type of Wandering Jew causes skin inflammation, if you
touch its watery sap.
Background Information: **Folklore:
"A legendary figure. The Wandering Jew, Ahasverus, a cobbler, insulted
Jesus Christ when he was bearing the cross to Golgotha. Jesus, exhausted,
leaned against a door to rest and the owner, Ahasverus, chased him away,
not wanting convicts at his door. God condemned him to be without a house
and to wander the earth until Judgement Day. He prays to Christ to come
quickly, but Christ is carrying his cross so he cannot walk fast. Christ
replies: "Suffering makes me tarry but thou shalt wander until I arrive."
The Wandering Jew is rejuvinated every thirty years, Christ's age at crucifixion.
Over the years he becomes a wise man who represents his sins, urging others
to do likewise so as to avoid the wrath of God."
Wandering Jew - Tradescantia zebrina
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**The Encyclopedia Mythica (1995-2000). An encyclopedia on mythology, folklore, and legend. Retrieved October 3, 2000 from the World Wide Web: http://www.pantheon.org/ mythica/articles/w/wandering_jew.html