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climbing dayflower, spreading dayflower

Habit Herbs, perennial or annual, spreading.

decumbent to scandent.


blade narrowly lanceolate to lanceolate-oblong, lanceolate-elliptic or ovate, 1.5–14 × 0.5–3.3 cm, margins scabrous, apex acute to acuminate, glabrous.


distal cyme 1–several-flowered, usually exserted;

spathes solitary, bright green, without contrasting veins, pedunculate, usually distinctly falcate, (0.5–)0.8–4 × 0.4–1.2(–1.4) cm, margins distinct, glabrous or scabrous, sometimes also sparsely ciliate or ciliolate basally, apex usually acuminate, usually glabrous or nearly so;

peduncles 0.5–2(–4) cm.


bisexual and staminate;

petals all blue (rarely all lavender), proximal petal smaller;

medial stamen anther connective usually with transverse band of violet;

staminodes 2–3;

antherodes yellow, medial often absent or vestigial, cruciform.


3-locular, 2-valved, 4–6.3 mm.


5 (or less through abortion), brown, 2–2.8(–3.2) × 1.4–1.8 mm, deeply reticulate.

Commelina diffusa

from FNA
AL; AR; DC; FL; GA; IL; IN; KS; KY; LA; MD; MO; MS; NC; OH; OK; SC; TN; TX; VA; Pantropical
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The name Commelina nudiflora Linnaeus has been incorrectly used for this species.

Varieties 4 (2 in the flora).

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

1. Leaf blades 1.5–5(–8) × 0.5–1(–2.2) cm; medial anther connective with broad transverse violet band; capsules 5-seeded (occasionally less, by abortion)
var. diffusa
1. Leaf blades 6–14 × 1–3.3 cm; medial anther connective without dark band; capsules typically 1–2-seeded
var. gigas
Source FNA vol. 22.
Parent taxa Commelinaceae > Commelina
Sibling taxa
C. benghalensis, C. caroliniana, C. communis, C. dianthifolia, C. erecta, C. forskaolii, C. gambiae, C. virginica
Subordinate taxa
C. diffusa var. diffusa, C. diffusa var. gigas
Name authority Burman f.: Flora Indica. nec non Prodromus Florae Capensis 18, plate 7, fig. 2. (1768)
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