South-Indian Dayflower
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South-Indian Dayflower
P Native Photo: Gurcharan Singh
Common name: South-Indian Dayflower
Botanical name: Commelina tricolor    Family: Commelinaceae (Dayflower family)

South-Indian Dayflower is a clustered or straggling herb, probably perennial. Stems are freely branching, up to 50 cm long, rather slender, 2.5-3 mm in diameter, cylindrical, slightly flattened on one side, velvet-hairy on the flattened side, otherwise hairless, darkish red, finely striped with green lines or spots. Leaves are almost hairless, narrowly oblong-lanceshaped, up to 1.3 cm wide and 7.5 cm long, tapering to a rather blunt tip, base semi-stem-clasping, margin white or red and very finely toothed, underside paler, midrib depressed above, raised below, 2 or 3 pairs of more prominent nerves, often 2 on one side and 3 on the other. Spathe is heart-shaped, tapering to a pointed tip, up to 3.8 cm long and 2.5 cm wide (opened out), the two halves folded together, sometimes slightly joined at the base, inner surface hairless, outer hairless or with extremely short hairs, margins red or white and finely fringed with hairs. Inner cyme usually 1-sometimes 2-flowered, outer cyme 5- or 6-flowered. Posterior sepal is boat-shaped, anterior sepals large, broadly ovate, concave, fused together for 1/3 to 2/3 of their length, whitish with 3 pale green nerves. Posterior petals are round-kidney-shaped, unequal-sided at base, margin often irregular, about i cm diameter, claws rather broad, bright blue; ante- rior petal kidney-shaped or triangular, about 6 mm across, margin irregularly toothed, tip bluntly triangular, claw short, pale blue, contained by the anterior sepals. Lateral stamens with long curved white or mauve filaments and small brown- ish anthers ; median stamen with a straight filament about half as long as those of the lateral stamens, anther large and broad, yellow. Staminodes are 3, filaments about as long as the median stamen, heads large, sulphur-yellow, with 4 pouch-like lobes arranged in pairs and usually with a smaller lobe between the pairs. South-Indian Dayflower is found in South India.

Identification credit: Mayur Nandikar Photographed along Chikkamagalur-Mullayanagiri Road, Tamil Nadu.

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