Spermatophyta: Monocotyledonae: Commelinales

Commelinaceae - Spiderwort family

Obermeyer, A.A. & Faden, R.B. (1985) Commelinaceae Flora of Southern Africa 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: 4 cultivated genera and 12 cultivated taxa.

Gibasis pellucida

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

Callisia Loefl.Description, Image
Dichorisandra J.C. MikanDescription, Image
Gibasis Raf.Description, Image
Tradescantia L.Description, Image

Other sources of information about Commelinaceae:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Commelinaceae
Flora of Caprivi: Commelinaceae
Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Commelinaceae
Flora of Malawi: Commelinaceae
Flora of Mozambique: Commelinaceae
Flora of Mozambique: cultivated Commelinaceae
Flora of Zambia: Commelinaceae
Flora of Zimbabwe: Commelinaceae

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Commelinaceae
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Commelinaceae
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Commelinaceae
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Commelinaceae
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Commelinaceae
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Commelinaceae
JSTOR Plant Science: Commelinaceae
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Commelinaceae
Wikipedia: Commelinaceae
Plants of the World Online: Commelinaceae
Tropicos: Commelinaceae

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-24

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2024). Flora of Zimbabwe: Cultivated plants: Family page: Commelinaceae.
https://www.zimbabweflora.co.zw/cult/family.php?family_id=60, retrieved 23 July 2024

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