Tradescantia pallida is species of spiderwort that is native to eastern Mexico. In warmer climates it is an evergreen perennial plant that can be grown as an ornamental ground cover, in pots or as an ornamental houseplant. This plant has escaped cultivation and in some areas it has become invasive because of the plants' ability to adapt to shade or sun, quick growth and relatively disease free existence. In colder climates, like here in Chicago, the invasive qualities aren't really an issue because it can't survive the winters in our gardens.
T. pallida has three common names by which it is know; Purple Heart, Purple Queen and Wandering Jew are monikers that are commonly used to refer to this plant. Sometimes this can be confusing because most people know T. zebrina (the popular houseplant) as Wandering Jew.
The genus of plants that this plant belongs to is named after John Tradescant the elder who was a well known English naturalist and gardener. Besides being partly responsible for introducing many popular garden plants, during his life he collected various curiosities of natural history that he put on display. The Lambeth Ark display became England's first museum open to the public.
The purple plant with the pink flowers in the picture above is actually grown by a neighbor of mine. Over the winter she roots cuttings in glass jars and will then plant the rooted cuttings in the spring in her containers and in her raised bed. Last year I gave her cuttings of my Wandering Jew (T. zerbina) to add to her collection. She must not have had much luck with the cuttings because I haven't seen the plant in her garden this year.