Commelina erecta – Whitemouth Dayflower

Commelina erecta - Whitemouth Dayflower, Slender Dayflower

Commelina erecta - Whitemouth Dayflower, Slender Dayflower

Plant Name

Scientific Name: Commelina erecta

Common Names: Whitemouth Dayflower, Slender Dayflower

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial

Growth Habit: Herb/Forb

Arizona Native Status: Native

Habitat: Desert (mountain foothills), Upland, Mountain

Flower Color: Blue, Lavender (rare), White (rare)

Flowering Season: Spring (late), Summer

Height: To 1 foot (30 cm) tall or more

Description: The flowers are 1 inch (2.5 cm) wide and enclosed by a hairy, green, boat-shaped spathe (a leaf-like bract). The 3-petaled flowers have 2 blue side petals and a small, white lower petal. The leaves are green, alternate, and linear to lanceolate in shape. Deer and cattle love to feed on these plants.

The similar Birdbill Dayflower (Commelina dianthifolia) has flowers with 3 blue petals. Prairie Spiderwort (Tradescantia occidentalis) and Pinewoods Spiderwort (Tradescantia pinetorum) have flowers that lack boat-like spathes and have 3 blue petals.


Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Liliopsida – Monocotyledons
Subclass: Commelinidae
Order: Commelinales
Family: Commelinaceae – Spiderwort family
Genus: Commelina L. – dayflower
Species: Commelina erecta L. – whitemouth dayflower

More About This Plant

Arizona County Distribution Map