Commelina ensifolia and C. diffusa Wandering Jew, Scurvy Plant.
Commelinaceae Early settlers used the plant as a green vegetable to combat scurvy. The two species of Commelina are similar but can be separated by the spathe. C. ensifolia has the spathes funnel-shaped and base fused, while C. diffusa has spathes conduplicate with bases cordate not fused.        Comelina diffusa was previously C. cyanea.

flower

flower

 

 

plant

 

Flowers of both species may sometimes have a reduced third petal.

(Picture supplied by Ian Sutton)

 

 

Terminology

conduplicate = folded lengthwise

cordate = heart-shaped

spathe = a large bract enclosing a flower

 


All pictures Copyright Graeme V. surname 2004. All rights reserved.