Wandering Jew


Wandering Jew

Latin Name

Commelina livingstonei


The Wandering Jew is a prostrate perennial herb; the stems have long internodes, swollen nodes, rooted at the lower nodes; leaves alternate, bases sheathing, one borne at each node.

The flowers are remarkably delicate and last for only a few hours. One or two are produced at a time and protrude from the folded bract or spathe enclosing the inflorescence. The Wandering Jew flowers in spring, but also at other times depending on the rainfall. The rootstock is used medicinally by the local people of South Africa.


The Wandering Jew can be found growing in open grassland areas; found in the Northern Province and Kruger National Park.

Field Notes

There are several plants known also referred to as the “wandering Jew”. This term refers to a myth about a Jewish man who was cursed to walk the earth for eternity because he taunted Jesus on the way to his Crucifixion.

Kruger National Park - South African Safari