Commelina ensifolia and C. diffusa

Wandering Jew, Scurvy Plant.

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.

Terminology

conduplicate = folded lengthwise

cordate = heart-shaped

spathe = a large bract enclosing a flowe

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flower

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Flowers of both species may sometimes have a reduced third petal. (Picture supplied by Ian Sutton)