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Wandering Trad

A difficult weed to eradicate is Trad, familiar to gardeners as Wandering Jew (this name has been replaced by Wandering Trad).  Native to South America, it has become widely naturalised in southern and eastern Australia, including parts of Queensland, NSW, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia and Lord Howe Island.  It is a succulent, weak-rooted creeping plant that establishes easily in moist, shady areas and breaks easily when pulled.  Trad reproduces itself from every node along its stem.

This species has white flowers, thankfully the plants do not produce seed.

Now the good news!  A biological control has now been released by CSIRO: a fungus.  A comprehensive risk analysis found the disease to be strongly host specific to wandering trad and safe to release into the environment.  It was found to be unable to infect and reproduce on any native species tested including the very similar blue-flowered native Commelina  cyanea and other introduced ornamental species of Tradescantia.

This information was taken from an article in the autumn 2021 edition of ‘Our Gardens’.  The article was written by Anthony Schofield, Regional Coordinator (Weeds) for the Greater Sydney Local Land Services.

Anthony’s sources: Click the links below to do some in-depth reading. HK

CSIRO, Background – Wandering trad biological control (

Smut to the rescue – CSIROscope, Fiona McFarlane, 22 March, 2019.

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