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FOC | Family List | FOC Vol. 24 | Commelinaceae | Commelina

1. Commelina diffusa N. L. Burman, Fl. Indica. 18, plate 7, fig. 2. 1768.

节节草 jie jie cao

Herbs annual. Stems creeping, branched (sometimes at every node), to more than 1 m, glabrous or hispidulous throughout or in a line. Leaves subsessile; leaf sheath hispid or hispid-ciliate, with red lines; leaf blade lanceolate or proximal ones oblong, 3--12 × 0.8--3 cm, glabrous or hispid. Involucral bracts borne opposite leaves, folded, ovate-lanceolate, 1--4 cm, glabrous or hispidulous abaxially, base cordate or rounded, apex acuminate or shortly so. Cincinni dichotomously branched from base; 1 branch with 1.5--2 cm long peduncle and 1--4 long-exserted male flowers; other branch with much shorter peduncle and 3--5 bisexual flowers included in involucral bracts; pedicels thick and curved, ca. 3 mm, to 5 mm in fruit. Sepals 3--4 mm, membranous. Petals blue, 2 longer ones 4.2--6 mm. Capsule oblong, trigonous, ca. 5 mm, 3-valved; posterior valve with 1 seed, indehiscent; other 2 valves each with 2 seeds, dehiscent. Seeds black, ovoid-globose, ca. 2 mm, reticulate. Fl. May--Nov.

Forests, thickets, streamsides, humid open places; near sea level to 2100 m. Guangdong, SW Guangxi (Longzhou Xian, Pingxiang Shi), SW Guizhou (Anlong Xian, Wangmo Xian), Hainan, SE Xizang (Mêdog Xian), SE Yunnan [tropics and subtropics worldwide].

A medicinal herb with febrifugal and diuretic effects. The petal juice can be used as a dye for painting.


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