Spermatophyta: Monocotyledonae

Commelinaceae - Spiderwort family

Obermeyer, A.A. & Faden, R.B. (1985) Commelinaceae FSA 4(2)

Description of the family

Annual or perennial herbs, often succulent. Leaves alternate with a basal sheath enclosing the stem, often ciliate at the mouth. Inflorescences composed of cymes which may be few or numerous and aggregated into thyrses; sometimes subtended by or enclosed in spathes. Flowers actinomorphic or zygomorphic, bisexual or male, occasionally cleistogamous. Sepals 3. Petals 3, free or united, deliquescent, conspicuous, usually brightly coloured, often blue or yellow. Stamens 6, in 2 whorls; in some genera 1-4 modified into staminodes or suppressed. Style unbranched. Ovary superior, 2-3-locular. Fruit a 2-3-valved capsule, rarely indehiscent.

Worldwide: 39 genera and 640 species, occurring in tropical to subtemperate areas.

Zimbabwe: 9 genera and 42 taxa.

Aneilema hockii

More sample images from the Commelinaceae (Click on each image to see a larger version and details of the record)

Commelina africana

Commelina africana

Aneilema aequinoctiale

Aneilema aequinoctiale

Aneilema pedunculosum

Aneilema pedunculosum

Coleotrype natalensis

Coleotrype natalensis

Tradescantia pallida

Tradescantia pallida

Links to genera:     View: living plant images - herbarium specimen images - all images for this family

GenusContent
Aneilema R. Br.Description, Image
Coleotrype C.B.ClarkeDescription, Image
Commelina L.Description, Image
Cyanotis D. DonDescription, Image
Floscopa Lour.Description, Image
Gibasis Raf.Description, Image
Murdannia RoyleDescription, Image
Tradescantia L.Description, Image
Triceratella BrenanDescription, Image

Other sources of information about Commelinaceae:

Our websites:

Flora of Zimbabwe: cultivated Commelinaceae
Flora of Mozambique: Commelinaceae | cultivated Commelinaceae
Flora of Zambia: Commelinaceae

External websites:

GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network) taxonomy for plants report for Commelinaceae
Google: Web - Images - Scholar


Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-14

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2014). Flora of Zimbabwe: Family page: Commelinaceae.
http://www.zimbabweflora.co.zw/speciesdata/family.php?family_id=60, retrieved 30 July 2014

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