T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network

Tradescantia fluminensis (Wandering Jew)

Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
(unranked): Commelinids
Order: Commelinales
Family: Commelinaceae 
Genus: Tradescantia
Species: T. fluminensis 
Binomial name Tradescantia fluminensis
Common names: Wandering Jew, River Spiderwort Small-Leaf Spiderwort Inch plant, Wandering Willie, Speedy Henry

General description: Hairless, succulent creeping plant <50cm tall. Alternate, oval, shining leaves form a sheath around the stem. Clusters of white star-shaped flowers (Aug-Nov).
Habitats: Streams, alluvial flats, lowland forests, coastal areas, damp shrublands, wetland margins. Prefers cool, moist, shaded conditions.
Dispersal: .T. fluminensis is considered an invasive species, noxious weed, or pest plant and is consequently targeted for eradication. The seriously invasive qualities of T. fluminensis result from a combination of attributes. Forming a dense mat underneath forest tree cover (facilitated by a remarkable shade tolerance), it smothers ground-level plants and prevents the natural regeneration of taller species; if left unchecked, it can lead to the destruction of native forests. Even where the climate does not permit T. fluminensis to take root, it still can spread rapidly from being transported by animals and humans. It does not set seed in New Zealand. Succulent stems break off & root easily & are dispersed by water, animals, people, & machinery.

Wandering Jew is very toxic to your dog if it comes into contact with it. In most cases, dogs will develop contact dermatitis and possibly a secondary infection if not treated properly. Symptoms may vary from case to case, they may include: redness of the feet and in between the toes, redness of the muzzle, palmar ulceration, redness around the eyes, conjunctivitis, itching of the skin, loss of fur and secondary infections. 

Wandering Jew on a vertical bank

Wandering Jew leaves

The underside of a leaf.

Wandering Jew Flower

The fleshy stems root at any node that is on the surface. 

Thanks to Wikipedia for text and information http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/