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|Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Key to families | Table of families and genera
Index to accepted names and synonyms:
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|Family: Commelinaceae||View Description||Dichotomous Key|
|Genus:||View Description||Dichotomous Key|
|Species:||View Description||Dichotomous Key|
Habit: Annual [perennial herb]. Inflorescence: flowers 1 or in few-flowered clusters, subtended by 1 +- leaf-like bract. Flower: bilateral; 2 petals larger, [generally blue or] pale violet, 1 smaller, paler; filaments glabrous.
Species In Genus: +- 170 species: tropics, warm temperate. Etymology: (Jan, 1629--1692, and nephew Kaspar, 1667--1731, Commelijn, Holland)
Unabridged Note: According to Linnaeus (1737, Critica Botanica; pp. 62--63 in translation by A. Hort, 1938) and Tucker (1989, Journal of the Arnold Arboretum 70:97--130) the genus was named for 3 members of the Commelijn family, 2 of whom (Jan and Kaspar) became famous botanists and are represented by the 2 large, showy petals; the third member (Kaspar, Jr., 1700--1734, son of Kaspar) died without having accomplished anything in Botany and is represented by the third, small, not showy petal. According to Tucker, Wijnands (1983, The Botany of the Commelins. viii + 232 pp. 64 pls. Rotterdam) contends that the genus name actually was adopted by Plumier, who probably was not aware of Kaspar, Jr.
eFlora Treatment Author: Robert E. Preston & Elizabeth McClintock
Jepson Online Interchange
Previous taxon: Commelinaceae
Next taxon: Commelina benghalensis
Citation for this treatment: Robert E. Preston & Elizabeth McClintock 2016. Commelina, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_IJM.pl?tid=11463, accessed on December 03, 2016.
Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2016. Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/IJM.html, accessed on December 03, 2016.