Jan. 29, 2017

Asiatic dayflower, Commelina communis

The story of the naming of this genus is often cited. Linnaeus commemorated the three Commelyn brothers. Two were successful published botanists (blue petals), the third was not (white petal). In her Natures Garden in 1900, Neltje Blanchan notes that, "Happily, Kaspar died in 1731, before the joke was perpetrated." I suspect he would have more happily lived to see it. This plant has been eaten as a cooked vegetable in its native China. But they were at times very hungry over there. The flowers are not much more than 1/2 inch across, very delicate and wither in the afternoon of their only day. A weedy plant in open areas, now in AL, AR, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI MN, MO, MS, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, VA, VT, WI, WV, ON, and QC. Lenawee Co MI, 8/18/15