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Callisia repens


Callisia repens (Jacq.) L.

Family Name: Commelinaceae
Synonyms: Tradescantia callisia, Spironema robbinsii, Hapalanthus repens
Common Name: Creeping Basketplant, Turtle Vine, Bolivian Jew, 铺地锦竹草


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Monocotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Herbaceous Plant
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Compact


Native Distribution Mexico, Central America, South America and the West Indies
Native Habitat Terrestrial

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form Callisia repens is a creeping herb and can root at the nodes to form a big mat.
Foliage Its leaves are ovate and measure up to 4 cm long and 2 cm wide, acute at the tip and rounded at the base. The leaf margins are hairy.
Flowers Its flowers are borne in cluster in the leaf axils, small and white.
Habitat Grows in riparian areas, secondary forests and shrublands. Also found in disturbed areas.
Taxonomy The Herbarium at Singapore Botanic Gardens confirmed that Callisia repens is the correct identification of this species on 16 July 2015.

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Foliage
Landscape Uses General, Green Roof, Vertical Greenery / Green Wall, Hanging Basket, Container Planting, Small Gardens
Thematic Landscaping Rockery / Desert Garden

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Pollination Method(s) Biotic (Fauna)

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Semi-Shade, Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water
Rootzone Tolerance Dry Soils / Drought, Shallow Media (8 -10cm)
Propagation Method Stem Cutting, Seed


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Thick
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Alternate
Foliar Attachment to Stem Sessile
Foliar Margin Entire
Foliar Apex - Tip Acute
Foliar Base Rounded / Obtuse
Leaf Area Index (LAI) for Green Plot Ratio 3.5 (Shrub & Groundcover - Monocot)

Non - Foliar and Storage

Stem Type & Modification Herbaceous, Runner / Stolon
Root Type Underground (Fibrous Root)
Specialised Storage Organ(s) Aboveground

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) White
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Location Axillary

Image Repository



Master ID 476
Species ID 1772
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 20 August 2021.