Why We’re No Longer Using the Name Wandering Jew

Wandering Jew

Do you know that members of the PHP group are not comfortable with  using the common name “Wandering Jew” for Tradescantia zebrina and related plants? Well, Tradescantia is beautiful and convenient. Whenever you are away from home, these plants will flourish until you give them water. Simply put, they like breaks between watering. It looks great in a hanging pot. In today’s article, we will discuss why this plant is one of our favorites and why we decided not to use the name “wandering Jew.”

Tradescantia zebrina is possibly one of the quirkiest plants. These potted friends with purple and silver shade leaves look fantastic. These plants are a great reminder that things never remain the same, and life changes for the better. Tradescantia genus can be found in woodlands and open fields of America.

Using the Name Wandering Jew

Tradescantia fluminensis with pink variegation looks great. The defined fractal patterns help to relax the mind. Tradescantia zebrina are heavily admired for their two-inch shiny leaves. Wandering Jew, the nickname of the plant, encompasses three different species of the Tradescantia family.

  • Tradescantia fluminensis
  • Tradescantia zebrina
  • Tradescantia pallida

An interesting fact about these plants is that “zebrina” is the Portuguese term for zebra, and you can easily guess why this plant is given that name. Do you know that these zebrinas can be used for medical purposes as well? In Jamaica, these plants are used to treat cough, high blood pressure, and cold symptoms. In Mexico, the sweetened zebrina leaves are used in a refreshing cold tonic. In China, these striped leaves are used to reduce swelling.

Tradescantia zebrina

Let these plants grow independently, and you will see them reaching six feet in height. In some countries, Tradescantia zebrina is considered a weed because they prevent the growth of other greens. Tradescantia zebrina plants are easy to take care of.

Now let’s talk about the name “wandering Jew” and why we no longer use it.

Bloombox Club titled Tradescantia with the name “wandering Jew.” What we understand is that the name referred to the Israelites,  when a man was cursed to wander in search of the Promised Land. You might have heard about it. But later, the research revealed that “wandering Jew” was connected to an apocryphal myth. It was used to justify anti-Semitism.

There are many other names for Tradescantia zebrina, such as Inch Plant and Spiderwort, but Wandering Jew has stuck. Bloomboxclub talked to many people from different plant communities about this difficulty. It was named as a Wandering Jew due to its tendency to spread quickly and its hyper-adaptability.

Published in: Garden

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