Commelina erecta

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Commelina erecta
Commelina erecta sm.jpg
Photo by Tom Miller, Apalachicola National Forest, FL
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class: Liliopsida – Monocotyledons
Order: Commelinales
Family: Commelinaceae
Genus: Commelina
Species: C. erecta
Binomial name
Commelina erecta
Comm erec dist.jpg
Natural range of Commelina erecta from USDA NRCS Plants Database.

Common name: Whitemouth dayflower

Taxonomic notes

Synonyms: Commelina angustifolia Michaux; C. crispa Wooton; C. elegans Kunth The Flora of North America.

Varieties: C. erecta Linnaeus var. angustifolia (Michaux) Fernald


A description of Commelina erecta is provided in The Flora of North America. In Collier County, FL, an albino form was observed.[1]




C. erecta has been observed flowering from May to September and also in November with peak inflorescence in June and July.[2] In repeated annual censuses conducted in October in permanently marked plots in native longleaf pine-wiregrass communities in southern Georgia, C. erecta appeared only in certain years, seemingly in particularly wet years, and was fairly common in the years that it appeared.[3]

Seed dispersal

This species is thought to be dispersed by gravity. [4]


In Daytona Beach, FL, the pollen-feeding bee fly (Poecilognathus punctipennis) was observed visiting C. erecta[5] and performing their unique foraging behavior.[6] The following Hymenoptera families and species were observed visiting flowers of Commelina erecta at Archbold Biological Station:[7]

Halictidae: Augochlorella aurata, Augochloropsis metallica, A. sumptuosa, Lasioglossum nymphalis, L. placidensis

Megachilidae: Megachile brevis pseudobrevis

Conservation and management

Cultivation and restoration

Photo Gallery

References and notes

  1. Observation by Roger Hammer in CREW Marsh, Collier County, FL, May 23, 2017, posted to Florida Flora and Ecosystematics Facebook Group May 23, 2017.
  2. Nelson, G. PanFlora: Plant data for the eastern United States with emphasis on the Southeastern Coastal Plains, Florida, and the Florida Panhandle. Accessed: 7 DEC 2016
  3. Robertson, K.M. 2017 Pebble Hill Fire Plots database. Tall Timbers Research, Inc., Tallahassee, Florida.
  4. Kirkman, L. Katherine. Unpublished database of seed dispersal mode of plants found in Coastal Plain longleaf pine-grasslands of the Jones Ecological Research Center, Georgia.
  5. Observation by Peter May in Tiger Bay State Forest, Daytona Beach, FL, May 23, 2017, posted to Florida Flora and Ecosystematics Facebook Group May 23, 2017.
  6. Deyrup MA (1988) Pollen-feeding in Poecilognathus punctipennis (Diptera: Bombyliidae). The Florida Entomologist 71(4):597-605.
  7. Deyrup, M.A. and N.D. 2015. Database of observations of Hymenoptera visitations to flowers of plants on Archbold Biological Station, Florida, USA.