Wandering Trad

Wandering Trad

Tradescantia fluminensis

Origin: South America
Size: Prostrate spreading plant
Best removal time: All year
Flowers: September—February

What it does

Wandering Trad is a layering perennial herb forming a smothering carpet across the ground that can be over 500mm thick. It displaces indigenous ground covers, herbs, grasses and orchids.

What it looks like

Stems and leaves are thick, succulent and glossy. Wandering Trad has white flowers in summer. Its leaves are a common cause of skin rashes in pets, particularly on the stomach area. It is toxic to cattle. It invades damp, wet and shaded areas of ground story and is widespread along creeks and waterways.

How it spreads

  • This plant spreads rapidly along the ground. Each leaf node along a stem is able to root and form a new plant with stems capable of spreading several metres each year.
  • The weed spreads rapidly in bushland areas from dumped garden rubbish.
  • Stems are able to survive for up to 1 year without contact with soil or roots.


By hand

All roots need to be removed and disposed of correctly while minimising disturbance to surrounding soil. Great care needs to be taken with removal from the site as even a tiny piece of stem will regrow. If in a thick mat it is possible to roll the weed on itself like a carpet using a rake. This will pick up the majority of it, then follow up is needed over several years to remove rooted fragments.

Spray with herbicide

Application of herbicide is possible and will control the weed. Use a registered product and ensure you check the label and follow instructions. Ring the Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning on 136 186 for full details.

Indigenous alternatives to plant

Many plant alternatives exist that are indigenous to the Yarra Ranges region and would make great substitutes for this weed species. Some alternatives include:

How to dispose of weeds

  • By disposing of environmental weeds correctly you can prevent re-infestation on your property and elsewhere.
  • Landfill (Weed Wipeout Tip vouchers available for some species).
  • Green waste bins ensure that weeds are not able to spread.
  • Woody weed stems can be bundled for green collection twice per annum.
  • Composting (excluding seed heads or species with vegetative reproduction, e.g. Wandering Trad).
  • Burning in accordance with Council and the Country Fire Authority (CFA) prescribed burning periods and regulations.
  • Recovery and transfer stations available for weed tipping are Healesville, Wesburn, Coldstream, Lysterfield and Montrose.

Using chemicals

Non chemical treatments is often the most effective and safe option especially on smaller scale infestations.

Where chemical use is undertaken:

  • Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines when using chemicals.
  • Wear protective clothing and eyewear.
  • When purchasing your herbicide, always ask for a Materials Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) or refer to the manufacturer’s website for specific safety guidelines and information.
  • Some herbicides will kill other plants and not just the target species.
  • When used near waterways herbicides can be very poisonous to aquatic life.
  • Use chemicals sparingly and be sure that you are using the right chemical and application technique.
  • Ensure the weather conditions are suitable (e.g. minimal wind and no rain expected).
  • Apply herbicides at the correct time during the plant’s growth cycle so you get the best results.