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Commelina benghalensis

(Benghal Dayflower)


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Common Names

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Click on the language to view common names.

Common Names in Arabic:


Common Names in Chinese:


Common Names in English:

Benghal Dayflower, Day Flower, Dayflower, Hairy Honohono, Hairy wandering Jew, Indian Dayflower, Jio, Tropical Spiderwort, Wandering-Jew

Common Names in Hindi:

Kanchara, कनचारा

Common Names in India:


Common Names in Japanese:


Common Names in Portuguese:


Common Names in Sundanese:



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Family Commelinaceae

Herbs annual or perennial , sometimes woody at base . Stems with prominent nodes and internodes. Leaves alternate, distichous or spirally arranged , sessile or petiolate ; leaf sheath prominent, open or closed ; leaf blade simple , entire. Inflorescence usually of cincinni in panicles or solitary, sometimes shortened into heads , sometimes sessile with flowers fascicled, sometimes axillary and penetrating enveloping leaf sheath, rarely flowers solitary and terminal or axillary. Flowers bisexual , rarely unisexual , actinomorphic or zygomorphic. Sepals 3, free or connate only at base, often boat-shaped or carinate , sometimes galeate at apex. Petals (2 or) 3, free, sometimes connate and tubular at middle and free at 2 ends ( Cyanotis), sometimes clawed. Stamens 6, free, all or only 2 or 3 fertile ; filaments glabrous or torulose villous ; anthers parallel or slightly divergent, longitudinally dehiscent , rarely dehiscent by apical pores ; staminodes 1--3; antherodes 4-lobed and butterflylike, 3-sect, 2-lobed and dumbbell-shaped, or entire. Ovary 3-loculed, or reduced to 2-loculed; ovules 1 to several per locule, orthotropous . Fruit a loculicidal, 2- or 3-valved capsule, rarely baccate and indehiscent. Seeds few, large; endosperm copious ; hilum orbicular or linear .

About 40 genera and 650 species: mainly in tropical regions , fewer species in subtropical and temperate regions ; 15 genera (two introduced ) and 59 species (12 endemic, three introduced) in China.[1]

Genus Commelina

Herbs, perennial or annual . Roots thin or tuberous . Leaves 2-ranked or spirally arranged , not glaucous; blade sessile or petiolate . Inflorescences terminal , leaf-opposed; cymes 1--2, enclosed in spathes , proximal cyme several-flowered, distal cyme vestigial or with 1--several staminate flowers ; spathes often filled with mucilaginous liquid, margins distinct or basally connate ; bracteoles usually absent. Flowers bisexual and staminate , bilaterally symmetric ; pedicels well developed; sepals distinct or proximal 2 connate, unequal; petals distinct, proximal petal often different color than distal 2, smaller or subequal , distal 2 blue (occasionally lilac, lavender, yellow, peach, apricot, or white), clawed; stamens (5--) 6, proximal 3 fertile , medial different in form, size from others, distal (2--) 3 staminodial; filaments glabrous ; antherodes commonly 4--6-lobed; ovary 2--3-locular, ovules 1--2 per locule, 1-seriate. Capsules 2--3-valved, 2--3-locular. Seeds 1--2 per locule; hilum linear ; embryotega lateral . x = 11--15.

Species ca. 170: almost worldwide, mainly tropical .[2]

Physical Description

Species Commelina benghalensis

Herbs, annual . Roots thin, rhizomes short, subterranean , bearing cleistogamous flowers produced from base of plant. Stems ascending to decumbent or occasionally scrambling. Leaves: leaf sheaths , not auriculate , often with red hairs at summit; blade ovate to lanceolate-elliptic, (1--) 2--9(--11) ´ 1--3(--4.5) cm, apex rounded , obtuse or acute, pubescent . Inflorescences: distal cyme often exserted and 1-flowered, sometimes vestigial; spathes often clustered, subsessile (peduncles 1--3.5 mm), funnelform , 0.5--1.5(--2) cm, margins connate basally, pubescent. Flowers: chasmogamous flowers bisexual and staminate , subterranean cleistogamous flowers bisexual; petals of staminate flowers all blue (rarely lilac), proximal smaller; lateral stamen filaments not winged ; staminodes 2--3; antherodes yellow, cruciform ; pollen white; medial stamen pollen yellow. Capsules 3-locular, 2-valved, 4--6 mm. Seeds 5, brown or blackish, seeds of adaxial locule 1.7--2.5 mm, shallowly reticulate , farinose . 2n = 22. Flowering spring--fall. [source]

Commelina benghalensis was first recognized and collected in California in 1980. The California plants are approximately hexaploid and represent a separate and much later introduction than the southeastern plants. The species is federally listed as an Obnoxious Weed . [source]

Habit: Forb/herb

Flowers: Bloom Period: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December. • Flower Color: medium blue


Size: 18-24" tall.


Citrus plantations, fields , yards , and other cultivated and disturbed sites; introduced [3].

Typically found in a lake at a mean distance from sea level of 630.00 meters (2,066.93 feet).[4]

Ecology: The species is a perennial or sometimes annual . A widespread weed often found in ditches, wet fields and places that are subjected to flooding, although it is not confined to wetlands. It can be found from near sea level up to 2,300 m. [5].

List of Habitats :


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Duration: Annual


Sunlight: Sun Exposure: Sun to Partial Shade.

Temperature: Cold Hardiness: 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b, 11. (map)


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Name Status: Accepted Name .

Last scrutiny: 21-Jun-2005

Similar Species

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Members of the genus Commelina

ZipcodeZoo has pages for 30 species, subspecies, varieties, forms, and cultivars in this genus:

C. benghalensis (Benghal Dayflower) · C. caroliniana (Carolina Dayflower) · C. clavata (Willow Leaved Dayflower) · C. coelestis (Blue Spider Wort) · C. communis (Asiatic Dayflower) · C. communis var. communis (Asiatic Dayflower) · C. communis var. ludens (Asiatic Dayflower) · C. cyanea (Creeping Christian) · C. dianthifolia (Bird-Bill Dayflower) · C. dianthifolia var. dianthifolia (Birdbill Dayflower) · C. dianthifolia 'Electric Blue' (Birdbill Day Flower) · C. diffusa (Climbing Dayflower) · C. diffusa var. diffusa (Climbing Dayflower) · C. diffusa var. gigas (Climbing Dayflower) · C. erecta (White Mouth Dayflower) · C. erecta var. angustifolia (Whitemouth Dayflower) · C. erecta var. deamiana (Whitemouth Dayflower) · C. erecta var. erecta (Whitemouth Dayflower) · C. forskaolii (Rat's Ear) · C. gambiae (Gambian Dayflower) · C. gigas (Climbing Dayflower) · C. nigritana (African Dayflower) · C. nigritana Benth. var. gambiae (C.B.Clarke) Brenan (Gambian Dayflower) · C. nigritana var. gambiae (Gambian Dayflower) · C. rufipes (Cojite Blanco) · C. rufipes var. glabrata (Cojite Blanco) · C. sellowiana (Blue Spider Wort) · C. sphaerorrhizoma (Commelina Spaerorrhozoma) · C. tuberosa (Commelina) · C. virginica (Virginia Day-Flower)

More Info

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Further Reading

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Data Sources

Accessed through GBIF Data Portal November 15, 2007:



  1. Deyuan Hong & Robert A. DeFilipps "Commelinaceae". in Flora of China Vol. 24 Page 19. Published by Science Press (Beijing) and Missouri Botanical Garden Press. Online at [back]
  2. "Commelina". in Flora of North America Vol. 22. Oxford University Press. Online at [back]
  3. "Commelina benghalensis". in Flora of North America Vol. 22. Oxford University Press. Online at [back]
  4. Standard Deviation = 773.420 based on 248 observations. Altitude information for each observation from British Oceanographic Data Centre. [back]
  5. Rehel, S. 2011. Commelina benghalensis. In: IUCN 2011. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.2. <>. Downloaded on 31 January 2012. [back]
Last Revised: 2015-02-06