Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Dayflowers: Common Dayflower (Commelina communis) and Erect Dayflower (Communis erecta)

Several Commelina species grow in this area - Commelina communis (Common or Asiatic Dayflower), Commelina virginica (Virginia Dayflower), Commelina erecta varieties (Erect Dayflower, Whitemouth Dayflower, Slender Dayflower, Sand Dayflower), and Commelina diffusa (Spreading Dayflower, Creeping Dayflower).

I’ve seen the Common Dayflower (Commelina communis) growing widely as a ground cover including at our place. Commelina communis flowers are deep blue. At Fort Yargo State Park, a light blue dayflower grows on an almost vertical section of the bank above the lake along the trail from the campground to the dam (segment 6); I believe this is Commelina erecta (Erect Dayflower) although I don’t know what variety it is. It is not easily accessible and difficult to photograph.

Commelina communis
(Common Dayflower)

A flower showing the wide leaves.

A close up of the flower, front on.

Commelina erecta (Erect Dayflower)

The flower from a distance, The foliage is not readily visible.

A closer view of the flowers.

Commelina communis
(Common Dayflower) is native to Asia and grows the eastern United States and Canada, as well as in Oregon and Washington state. Commelina erecta (Erect Dayflower) is native to the United States; it grows in Rocky Mountain states east to the Atlantic Ocean but not in Canada.

Click on an image to view a larger image

Distribution Map:

United States Department of Agriculture Plants Database:

- Commelina communis (Asiatic Dayflower)

- Communis erecta (Whitemouth Dayflower)

University of North Carolina Herbarium:

- Commelina communis

- Commelina erecta

Identification resources:

Southeastern Flora:
Common Dayflower (Commelina communis)
Missouri Plants:

- Commelina communis

- Commelina erecta

Related posts:

- 2010: Year Of The Wildflower – Wildflower Index


emilynghiem said...

can you tell if this is a common/asiatic dayflower, or a false/erect dayflower which is more common in texas:

JSK said...

Yours looks like Commelina erecta but I'd recommend that you take a look at two closeup photos to compare with yours to be sure.
Asiatic Dayflower (Commelina communis: http://www.hiltonpond.org/ThisWeek030829.html - at the bottom of the page.
Erect Dayflower (Commelina erecta): http://www.kswildflower.org/largePhotos.php?imageID=439&aCategory=f&lastModified=2007-09-07
Hope this helps