Creeping inch plant

Creeping inch plant

Callisia repens

Common Name:

Creeping inch plant

Scientific Name:

Callisia repens

Alternative common names:

Basket plant, inch plant, little jewel, tiny buttons, dwarf-striped inch plant.


Creeping inch plant is an herbaceous species that has been widely cultivated as an ornamental plant in gardens. It has creeping stems that are much branched and produce roots at their joints. Leaves are densely clustered along the stems.

Additional Information

Where does this species come from?

Mexico, Central America, South America and the Caribbean.

What is its invasive status in South Africa?

NEMBA Category 1b.

Where in South Africa is it a problem?

Widely distributed across South Africa where it has spread from gardens.

How does it spread?

The seed is mainly spread in dumped garden waste and by water.

Why is it a problem?

It competes with and has the potential to replace indigenous species.

What does it look like?

Leaves: The leaves are 1-4cm long and are usually green with numerous tiny purple spots.

Flowers: The small white flowers are arranged in clusters, with dark spots and reddish stems. The flowers have
three stamens and an ovary topped with a style and stigma. Flowering occurs mainly during summer and autumn.

Fruit/seeds: The seeds are brown with rough surfaces.

Does the plant have any uses?

Used medicinally and in the brewing of beer.

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