Commelina communis - Banner
Image Information
Location: Searcy County, Arkansas
Month of Photograph: July
Distribution Map: Commelina communis - Distribution Map Spacer
USDA, NRCS. 2012. The PLANTS Database (http://plants.usda.gov, 16 January 2012). National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA. Spacer Guests can be assured that there is established evidence that this plant has been found in all of the green filled counties of Arkansas. However, the white filled counties should not be interpreted as counties in which this plant does not grow. They should instead be interpreted as counties which lack officially sanction evidence of the plants presence there.

Family: Commelinaceae

Flower, frontal view

Commelina communis - Flower Frontal View "
Not all images on this page were photographed on the same day or at the same location. The precise location and date that specific photographs were taken can be obtained by email.
Commelina communis - Flower Frontal View Flower, frontal view
These tiny little things are gorgeously blue, delicately shaped and grow everywhere in my community. However, I had the devils own time learning to tell the two of them apart. The erect dayflower will grow upright if it gets a chance, and the Asiatic dayflower has a lazy, sprawling habit. However, that does not help much in identification. The two plants are nearly always tangled in with others so tightly that an observer can not see whether the plant is growing up or down or in all directions at once.
Commelina communis - Flower Ventral View Flower, ventral view
Finally, I learned to look at two characteristics of the plant to help me make an identification. First, behind (or under) the beautiful blue petals is a spathe - the little purse that the flower emerges from. The spathes of the Asiatic dayflower (that is, the plant on this page) are open at the top while the spathes of erect dayflower are tightly closed.

Spathe

Commelina communis - StemStem and Ocrea (sheath)

The second feature that helps me tell them apart is the sheathes (or ocrea) at the nodes on the stems. The sheathes (or ocrea) are different on the erect dayflower than they are on the plant featured on this page. As you can see in the image on the right, the sheath holds tightly to the stem on the Asiatic dayflower. On the erect dayflower, seen below, the top of the sheath is turned back.

Sheath

Erect dayflower

Commelina communis - Frontal ViewFlower, frontal view
Commelina communis - Spathe Spathe
Commelina communis - Leaf Adaxial Leaf, adaxial
Commelina communis - Leaf Abaxial Leaf, abaxial
Commelina communis - Whole Plant Whole Plant