Any of 20 or more erect to trailing, weak-stemmed herbs native to North and South America that make up the genus Tradescantia (family Commelinaceae). Several species are grown as indoor plants in baskets, especially the wandering Jews (T. albiflora, with green leaves, and T. fluminensis, with purplish underleaves). White velvet, or white-gossamer (T. sillamontana), has leaves and stems covered with a whitish fuzz. Chain plant (T. navicularis) has fleshy, narrow, lengthwise-folded leaves. Common spiderwort, or widow's tears (T. virginiana), is an upright, juicy-stemmed garden plant with white to purple flowers. Because they are easy to propagate, spiderworts are very popular indoor plants.