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Commelinaceae Mirb., 1804, nom. cons.
the wandering Jew family
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