Scientific Name: Commelina dianthifolia
Synonym: Commelina linearis var. longispatha
Common Names: Birdbill Dayflower, Bird-bill Dayflower, Western Dayflower
Growth Habit: Herb/Forb
Arizona Native Status: Native
Habitat: Upland, Mountain. This plant grows in rocky soil in part shade in oak, juniper, and pine woodlands.
Flower Color: Blue
Flowering Season: Summer, Early fall. This wildflower blooms after the summer monsoon rains have begun.
Height: Up to 15 inches (38 cm) tall
Description: The flowers emerge one at a time from large, green to maroon-tinged, hairy to hairless, folded, boatlike spathes (leaf-like bracts) with an elongated, tapering tip that resembles a bird's bill. The individual flowers have 3 blue petals, fertile and sterile stamens with blue, hairless filaments, and 3 staminodes (sterile stamens) with yellow, cross-shaped antherodes (sterile anthers). The lowest flower petal is somewhat smaller than the other 2 petals. The flowers only last for a day. The flowers are followed by seed capsules that mature within the spathes. The leaf sheaths are maroon-streaked and wrap the stems. The leaf blades are green, hairless to hairy, and linear to linear-lanceolate in shape. The stems are green to maroon-tinged, succulent, erect to ascending, and unbranched or sparsely branched. The roots are tuberous.
The similar Whitemouth Dayflower (Commelina erecta) has flowers with only 2 blue petals. Prairie Spiderwort (Tradescantia occidentalis) and Pinewoods Spiderwort (Tradescantia pinetorum) have flowers with hairy stamen filaments and no boat-like spathes.
Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Liliopsida – Monocotyledons
Family: Commelinaceae – Spiderwort family
Genus: Commelina L. – dayflower
Species: Commelina dianthifolia Delile – birdbill dayflower
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