Vascular Plants of the Gila Wilderness

Presented in Association with the
Western New Mexico University Department of Natural Sciences

Commelina dianthifolia Delile
(Birdbill Dayflower)

Family: Commelinaceae

Status: Native

Commelina dianthifolia Delile var. filiformis M.E. Jones
Commelina dianthifilia Delile var. longispatha (Torrey) Brashier
Commelina linearis Bentham var. longispatha Torrey

Commelina dianthifolia can be identified by its 3 beautiful blue petals which emerge from an enclosing bract called a spathe. The stem is mostly erect and the leaves are linear-lanceolate. After the petals fall off, the remaining ovaries are completely contained within the spathe as they mature. The fruit is a capsule containing five brown, irregularly ridged and pitted seeds. There are usually two capsules produced per spathe. Commelina dianathifolia is usually found at middle elevations in the shade underneath pines and junipers.
Please click on an image for a larger file.

Commelina dianthifolia, photo Russ Kleinman, Pinos Altos Range, Pinos Altos, Sept. 3, 2007

Commelina dianthifolia, 2x macro of capsule and seeds, photo Russ Kleinman, Gomez Peak, Jan. 11, 2009

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