Commelinaceae  Mirb., 1804, nom. cons.

pronounced: kom-uh-lee-NAY-see-eye

the wandering Jew family

The Wandering Jew

Commelina, and the Commelinaceae family, were named for two 17th century Dutch botanists: Johan Commelin  and his nephew Caspar Commelin, both of them known to Linnaeus. Commelinaceae are frequently more-or-less succulent herbs, and often have cymose inflorescences sometimes subtended by a boat-shaped spathe. The leaves are alternate, simple and parallel-veined. The flowers are ephemeral, lack nectar, and offer only pollen as a reward to their pollinators. They often try to deceive the pollinators by appearing to offer a larger reward than is actually present. This may consist of yellow hairs or broad anther connectives that mimic pollen, or staminodes that look like fertile stamens.

Commelina cyanea - Scurvy Weed

Commelina ensifolia - Scurvy Weed

Murdannia graminea - Slug Lily

Rhoeo spathacea (syn.) - Moses-in-the-Cradle

Setcreasea pallida (syn.) - Purple Heart

Setcreasea purpurea (syn.) - Purple Heart

Tradescantia fluminensis - River Spiderwort

Tradescantia pallida - Purple Heart

Tradescantia spathacea - Moses-in-the-Cradle

Photograph via Wikipedia Commons

Page last updated 23rd March 2018







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