Herbs, erect or ascending, rarely rooting at nodes. Stems 16--100 cm; proximal internodes glabrous, distal glabrous to densely eglandular-puberulent. Leaves spirally arranged, sessile (with sheaths ± saccate); blade linear-lanceolate, 10--40 ´ 0.5--2.5 cm (distal leaf blades equal to or narrower than sheaths when sheaths opened, flattened), glaucous, glabrous or adaxially densely and minutely eglandular-velvety. Inflorescences terminal, axillary; bracts reduced, bases saccate, minutely velvety. Flowers distinctly pedicillate; pedicels 0.9--2.8 cm, densely eglandular-puberulent; sepals 5--13 mm, densely, minutely eglandular-puberulent; petals distinct, magenta to blue or violet, broadly obovate, not clawed, 1.5--1.8 cm; stamens free; filaments bearded. Capsules 6--7 mm. Seeds 2--3 mm. 2n = 12. Flowering spring (Mar--May). Rocky limestone areas, pasturelands, weedy lots, roadsides, and along railroad tracks; La., Tex. Plants of Tradescantia gigantea growing around Ruston, Louisiana may have originated from cultivated plants. They hybridize with T. ohiensis there.