Commelina erecta L.
|Kingdom||Plantae||Plants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae (from Stearn’s Botanical Latin)|
|Subkingdom||Tracheobionta||Vascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients|
|Division||Magnoliophyta||Flowering plants, also known as angiosperms|
|Class||Liliopsida||Monocots (plants with a single seed leaf); includes the lily family|
|Subclass||Commelinidae||Dayflowers and spiderworts, and several others|
|Order||Commelinales||Includes dayflowers (spiderworts), bloodworts, water hyacinths, others|
|Family||Commelinaceae||Dayflower or spiderwort family|
|Genus||Commelina||After the two Dutch botanists Jan (1629-1692) and his nephew Caspar (1667-1731) Commelijn, known to Linnaeus and Charles Plumier, a French Franciscan monk, botanist and traveler who apparently named this flower. Jan, or Johan, Commelijn was a doctor and the director of botany at the Hortus Medicus (Medical Garden) in Amsterdam, who worked with many tropical plants that had been collected in Asia and sent back to Holland. The story is that Linnaeus who established this genus decided to commemorate the Commelins because the dayflower has two large petals (for Jan and Caspar) and a third small petal (for another Commelijn who died young before he could accomplish anything in botany), but this may well be an apocryphal though convenient explanation|
About plant names...
Slender dayflower is native to the Americas, Africa, and western Asia. The genus, Commelina,
is an in-joke created by Linnaeus himself, commemorating three botanist brothers, the Commelyns.
Two of the brothers, akin to the dayflowers’ two prominent petals, published papers and went on to
successful careers, while the third amounted to nothing, like the inconsequential white petal on the
Identification: These plants tend to lie prostrate,
growing along the ground up to 3' (91 cm) unless they have other plants to crawl over. The pair of opposing
blue petals, looking a bit like Mickey Mouse ears, are the most obvious identifying feature.
There is a third, smaller petal below.
Flowers are about ¾" (1.9 cm) across.
Commelina erecta at Illinois Wildflowers
Commelina erecta on Missouriplants.com
Commelina erecta at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Commelina erecta at Southeastern Arizona Wildflowers and the Plants of the Sonoran Desert
Commelina erecta on Plants for a Future, a resource and information centre for edible and otherwise useful plants
Commelina erecta on Native Plants of Texas
Commelina erecta on Kansas Wildflowers and Grasses
Commelina erecta at the Vanderbilt University Bioimages web site
Commelina erecta on eFloras
Commelina erecta description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 4 Sep 2013.
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7/3/2012 · By Jacquelyn Boyt
7/3/2012 · By Jacquelyn Boyt
About this map...