The flower is Callisia fragrans, sometimes known as basket plant, chain plant, or inch plant for the way it inches its way along the ground. It can be grown as a ground cover in partial shade but also works well in a hanging basket. That was where I had it last year, on the wall as you enter the front courtyard garden from the side door. When it flowered there was a sweet fragrance on the air which caused me wonder its origin.
The basket plant is hanging down to the right beneath the soap aloe. It is a busy planter with Agave demettiana and aloes and couple of other succulents tucked in the top. All enjoy the filtered sun under the oak tree.
The flowers this year are in a different place, growing at ground level, not so accessible to the nose but clearly perfuming the air. Our mild winter meant that the plant survived under the shade and shelter of the Lady Banks rose and is blooming early. Endemic to Mexico, the plant is only hardy to around 32° so must be protected in winter. It is easy to break off the small plants that form along the chain and root them to save over winter. Or the plant can be grown as a houseplant.
Looking a little worse for the wear after a winter outside. It has something in common with its companion plant Tradescantia pallida purple heart. The synonym for Callisia fragrans is Tradescantia dracaenoides.
|New plant forming along the chain|