Commelina gambiae

C. B. Clarke

in A. L. P. de Candolle and C. de Candolle, Monographiae Phanerogamarum 3: 146. 1881.

Synonyms: Commelina nigritana var. gambiae (C. B. Clarke) Brenan
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 22.

Herbs, annual, 10–30 cm. Stems ascending to decumbent. Leaves: blade sessile, linear to linear-lanceolate, 2–15 × 0.3–1 cm, glabrous or sparsely hirsute. Inflorescences: proximal cyme ± 2-flowered, distal cyme absent; spathes solitary, whitish basally, pedunculate, usually slightly falcate, 0.9–2 × 0.4–1 cm, margins distinct, connate basally, apex acuminate, sparsely hirsute; peduncles 0.3–1.6 cm. Flowers bisexual, less than 1 cm wide; proximal sepals connate, forming cup; paired petals apricot- or peach-colored, proximal petal white, minute; staminodes 3; antherodes yellow, cruciform. Capsules 3-locular, 3-valved, 4–5.5 mm. Seeds 5, brown, 1.9–2.7 × 2–2.4 mm, reticulate. 2n = 56.

Phenology: Flowering fall.
Habitat: Roadsides, pastures, and levees


Introduced; Fla., native, w Africa.


Commelina gambiae was first found in Florida in 1976 and is now recorded from five counties. Commelina nigratana var. nigritana, which is unknown outside of Africa, differs by having three one-seeded locules, the seeds each with two pits and lacking the reticulation.

Selected References


Lower Taxa