Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

 
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Jepson Interchange (more information)
©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California

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  • Up-to-date information about California vascular plants is available from the Jepson eFlora.

COMMELINACEAE

SPIDERWORT FAMILY

Elizabeth McClintock

Annual, perennial herb, generally glabrous
Stem prostrate to erect or climbing; nodes often rooting
Leaves alternate, entire, simple, linear to ovate, with closed basal sheath or lower leaf clasping stem
Inflorescence: generally cyme or umbel, axillary
Flower generally bisexual, bilateral or radial, generally insect-pollinated; sepals 3, generally green; petals 3, blue, white, or sometimes rose or purple, generally ephemeral; stamens 6 (3 sometimes sterile), filaments generally slender, often hairy; ovary superior, chambers 3
Fruit: generally capsule
Seeds few
Genera in family: ± 50 genera, 700 species: especially tropical, subtropical; some cultivated as ornamental.

COMMELINA

DAYFLOWER

Perennial
Inflorescence: cyme, subtended by boat-shaped bract
Flower bilateral, generally blue, ephemeral; petals unequal, 2 large and showy; fertile stamens 3, sterile stamens 3, filaments glabrous
Species in genus: ± 150 species: tropical, warm temp regions
Etymology: (Johan, 1629–1692, and nephew Caspar, 1667–1731, Commelin, Holland)
Reference: [Maheshwari & Maheshwari 1955 Phytomorphology 5:413–422]

Introduced

C. benghalensis L.


Stem straggling, rooting at nodes
Leaf 30–60 mm, ± widely lanceolate; margins generally wavy and hairy
Flowers of 2 kinds; those of upper stem opening, ± 1 cm diam, petals blue, filaments glabrous; cleistogamous flowers on underground stems
Ecology: Disturbed, moist, urban areas
Elevation: < 500 m.
Bioregional distribution: South Coast
Distribution outside California: tropical weed; native to tropical Asia, Africa

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