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Moses in the Cradle-- Also known as:   Rhoeo 'Hawaiian Dwarf';  Oyster Plant;  Cradle Lily;  Daun Kepah;  Nanas Kerang;  Boatlily;  Moses in a basket;  Moses in his Cradle;  Moses on a Raft;  Moses in the Bulrushes; 

Rhoeo  bermudensis     

Plant Type:  perennial   herbaceousevergreenrhizome

Description: Great border plant and ground cover. Glossy, variegated leaves. Tolerates shade to full sun.


Plant Attributes


Plant Hardiness  zones


Plant Dimensions

Plant Height
Plant Spread








Sun Aspect

Part Shade
Full Sun
Maintenance Level: Low maintenance

Urban: great decorative indoor plant or garden plant border. very hardy.

Plant Description

Moses in the Cradle is a herb native to Mexico with fleshy rhizomes. It has rosettes of waxy lance-shaped leaves. Leaves are dark to metallic green above, with glossy purple underneath. These will reach up to 1 foot (30 cm) long by 3 inches (7.5 cm) wide. They are very attractive foliage plants that will reach 1 foot (30 cm) tall. They are hardy in USDA zones 9 - 12.

Rhoeo is a short-stemmed tender foliage plant which makes attractive small, dense, clumping rosettes. It forms a solid groundcover of upright purple and green leaves. The unusual flowers, borne down among the leaves, appear as clusters of tiny white flowers nestled within two boat-shaped, purplish bracts. They are not noticeable unless you look closely.

Blooming Time

The small white flowers in boat-shaped bracts will bloom all year sporadically, with flushes of heavy blooming in the spring and fall.


Rhoeo spathacea are easy to culture, only requiring a well-drained soil mix and full to partial sun or high interior lighting. When planting, use a soil mix consisting of 1 part peat moss to 2 parts loam to 2 parts sand or perlite. Water the plants well and allow to dry slightly in between waterings. During the spring and summer, periodically add some organic fertilizer. During the winter months, allow the plants to dry thoroughly before watering again. No fertilizer is used during this time.


Rhoeo is propagated by division in the spring and fall or by seeds produced in the boat-shaped bracts. Seeds germinate in 14-60 days at 18 - 21° C (65-70° F).


Rhoeo is ideal for use as a quick-growing groundcover, thriving in full sun to part shade. Also can be used in pots indoors. Treat as a succulent. Well-drained soils are a necessity. It is extremely drought-tolerant, even growing in cracks in a concrete wall. Plant and forget. Also a great tough indoor plant. Protect from frost.


Fungus, root rot, and leaf spot can all be problems for Rhoeos if plants receive irrigation.

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