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365 Urban Species. #192: Asiatic Dayflower


Photos by cottonmanifesto.

Urban species #192: Asiatic dayflower Commelina communis

Roadsides and yards in cities in Eastern North America are frequently full of this plant. Before it flowers it looks like a robust grass or ground cover, and is easy to ignore. When its blue and white flowers suddenly pop up, it can be quite surprising. As their name hints, dayflowers bloom for one day only. Where the stem bends to touch the earth, the plant re-roots, spreading to cover as much moist shaded soil as there is available. Gardeners, while pulling this weed, will notice that it is a member of the spiderwort family, and bears a resemblance to its larger, showier relatives. Asiatic dayflower was introduced as an ornamental from (wait for it) Asia. This plant is considered invasive in several eastern states, and has recently found its way to the west coast.

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