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Published In: Species Plantarum 1: 40. 1753. (1 May 1753) (Sp. Pl.) Name publication detailView in BotanicusView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 6/2/2011)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project Data     (Last Modified On 6/3/2011)
General/Distribution: A tropical and subtropical genus with c. 90 species, represented here by 3 or 4 species.


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Annual or perennial herbs, often prostrate or suberect, glabrous to pubescent. Leaves usually narrowly elliptic, sometimes subfleshy, entire, sheathing at base, acute. Inflorescence usually 2-flowered, scorpioid cymes, subtended by short, hooded, funnel-shaped or falcate, folded spathes or involucral bracts. Flowers of the upper cymes small, often sterile, those of the lower cymes larger and fertile. Sepals 3, the outer cucullate, free, inner 2 often connate below, obovate, sometimes persistent. Petals 3, longer than sepals, clawed, ovate, inner 2 smaller than the outer one. Perfect stamens 3, free, hypogynous, antisepalous; staminodes 2-3; filaments glabrous. Ovary glabrous, 2-3-loculed, two of the locules 1-2-ovuled, the third locule, if present, either 1-ovuled or empty. Capsules loculicidal, posterior locule (cocci) indehiscent or absent, the two anterior cocci connate and indehiscent; seeds small, usually subtriangular, reticulately pitted.

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1 Spathes funnel-shaped or cucullate, margin fused to the base. Flowers yellowish to violaceous
+ Spathes conduplicate, margin free or fused at the base only. Flowers usually blue to whitish (2)
2 (1) Leaves ovate to ovate-oblong. Subterranean flowers, developed form the lower nodes, present Commelina benghalensis
+ Leaves lanceolate, elliptic to linear-lanceolate. Subterranean flowers not produced (3)
3 (2) Spathes short, c. 1.3 cm long. seeds adnate to the locule, black spotted with dull yellow Commelina albescens
+ Spathes 1.8-3.8 cm long. Seeds free in the locule, lead-coloured Commelina paludosa
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