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This is a native species.

Commelina dianthifolia

Commelina dianthifolia (Dayflower)
Commelinaceae (Spiderwort Family)

Montane.  Rocky openings.  Summer, fall.
Vallecito Creek Trail, September 12, 2011.

In some areas of the United States, some species of Dayflower are extremely common  --  even unwanted and widely spreading species that one casually pulls by the handful from gardens.  But the species that occurs in the Southwest occurs infrequently and in Colorado it is actually classified as rare (see map below).

Commelina dianthifolia grows to about 18 inches tall and is found in loose patches.  Leaf blades are contracted at their base into a sheath around the main stem. 

The genus was named by Linnaeus in 1753 for three members of the Dutch family, Commelin: "Commelina has flowers with three petals, two of which are showy, while the third is not conspicuous; from the two botanists called Commelin, for the third died before accomplishing anything in botany".

Delile named the species.  "Dianthifolia" means "with leaves similar to Dianthus".

Commelina dianthifolia

Commelina dianthifolia (Dayflower)
Commelinaceae (Spiderwort Family)

Montane.  Rocky openings.  Summer, fall.
Vallecito Creek Trail, September 12, 2011.

The lower petal is smaller than the side petals.  Flowers are a very unusual and intriguing violet-blue and other aspects of the plant are just as unusual.  See the next photograph.

Commelina dianthifolia

Commelina dianthifolia (Dayflower)
Commelinaceae (Spiderwort Family)

Montane.  Rocky openings.  Summer, fall.
Vallecito Creek Trail, September 12, 2011.

Buds are encased in a single spathe-like green and purple, long-pointed bract.  You can see several faded flowers peeking over the top of the bract just to the left of the fresh flower above my finger.  Seeds develop within the cover of this bract.

Range map © John Kartesz,
Floristic Synthesis of North America

State Color Key

Species present in state and native
Species present in state and exotic
Species not present in state

County Color Key

Species present and not rare
Species present and rare
Species extirpated (historic)
Species extinct
Species noxious
Species exotic and present
Native species, but adventive in state
Eradicated
Questionable presence

Commelina dianthifolia

Range map for Commelina dianthifolia