The royally honored…

Purple Heart, Purple Queen, Wandering Jew (Tradescantia pallida) are common names for this Mexican native. In Florida it is a favorite ground cover providing a touch of color to otherwise drab shady areas in the garden. Beside the Royal purple color of this plant and it’s flower I have found no reason that it has been given the name “Queen”.

Purple Queen is very much at home in Florida and can quickly become invasive in the garden; so attention is needed when introduced to a garden design. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

Famous seed dispenser…

Cranesbill in bud and bloom copyright 2012 Pamela Breitberg

The woodland native’s common name is logical when viewing the unopened seedpods that form the shape of a Crane’s bill which eventually snaps open to fling seeds up to six feet away; however adding some confusion is the fact that not all varieties produce such shaped seed pods. The flower goes through interesting changes as it matures eventually into its namesake seedpod.

This non-aggressive plant does slowly spread in size over time creating a ground cover which is slightly taller and a different leaf shape than traditionally thought of ground covers. Each leaf is deeply cleft into 3-5 palmate lobes. The white Cranesbill image shows this lacy delicate leaf as well as flower and bud. The image of an end-of-bloom purple variety does not show its leaves as it’s nestled in a patch of Pachysandra. I am indifferent to the sometimes strong fragrance from Cranesbill leaves, though some gardeners consider this trait a plus in their plot. This is said from a chronic allergy-ridden person who seeks to avoid breathing in any aroma, so consider this fact about myself before thinking ill of its scent.

Cranesbill and Pachysanrda copyright 2012 Pamela Breitberg