Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Asiatic Dayflower, Blue Dayflower
Commelina communis

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Family: Commelinaceae (ko-mel-ih-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Commelina (kom-uh-LIN-uh) (Info)
Species: communis (KOM-yoo-nis) (Info)

26 members have or want this plant for trade.

Category:
Annuals
Herbs

Height:
12-18 in. (30-45 cm)
18-24 in. (45-60 cm)
24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

Spacing:
9-12 in. (22-30 cm)

Hardiness:
Not Applicable

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Danger:
Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:
Medium Blue

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer
Mid Fall

Foliage:
Grown for foliage
Herbaceous
Shiny/Glossy-Textured

Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:
Non-patented

Propagation Methods:
From herbaceous stem cuttings
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

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There are a total of 26 photos.
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Profile:

12 positives
9 neutrals
17 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

RatingAuthorContent
Negative debylutz On Sep 16, 2013, debylutz from San Diego, CA wrote:

Don't let its beautiful blue flowers fool you. If you live in a mild-winter climate, it will quickly take over your entire irrigated landscape if you don't pull out every piece before it sets seed. If you start tearing it out after seed set, you will have a nice crop for next year.

Negative lila333 On Jun 30, 2013, lila333 from Virginia Beach, VA wrote:

This grows in my garden in Virginia Beach. I am a half mile from the ocean and have sandy clay soil. The places where I have amended for beds explode with this stuff. I don't mind it too much in the established garden but it always gets the jump on flowers that I try to start from seed. The veggie garden seems more happy to share, this year the beans grew up a stalk so when I was weeding I let that one live. They are super easy to pull. Just run out after a rain and they offer zero resistance. This year I gave up on the bed where my banana trees are and just let it go. It killed all my perennial sprouts so it is better than nothing. I will try and pull it before it drops seed though. I did notice that this year it made a move on the tomatoes and I have blossom end rot. I wonder if it could be sucking up all the calcium?

Negative savannahjudy On Jan 11, 2013, savannahjudy from Savannah, GA (Zone 9b) wrote:

I have been trying to get rid of this for the 8 years I have lived in my house. The worst part for me is that I get nasty sick every time after I have been pulling it. I have to get my husband to do it.

Negative MsMuddyToes On May 8, 2012, MsMuddyToes from Kansas City, MO wrote:

I believe this is the same plant that I have been fighting since we moved into our house 17 years ago. I can't get rid of it! It comes up early in the year and chokes out any other seedling. It is easy to pull, but if you miss one plant, you have a plethora of plants the next year. We have 3 acres and this plant has spread into all parts of it, although I have tried to eradicate it every year. If you spray it with poison, it kills the current plants, but then the dormant seeds just come up again. I would never buy this plant or put it into my garden. It is worse than any other plant I have every tried to get rid of, including Vinca, Ditch Lilies, Dandelions, Chickweed, and many others. Yuck! I thought it was Wandering Jew, but after looking at these pictures and reading the description, I have this plant.

Negative bluminghausen On May 7, 2012, bluminghausen from Columbus, OH wrote:

I was tricked by the brilliant blue flower several years ago and thought "gee that looks nice, what can it hurt?" Now, years later I'm still pulling this stuff out of cracks and gardens and all manner of places. It seems to grow several inches over night and can overwhelm an area in little time. Fortunately it's easy to pull, but be sure to discard the plants correctly because pulled plants will continue to develop seeds.

Positive keithp2012 On Oct 15, 2011, keithp2012 from West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a) wrote:

I was lucky enough to find a beautiful Variegated form of this plant in my garden. I saved it and put it in it's own pot, it thrived! The next year seeds from my plant that naturally were sown sprouted, and I found 2 new variegated seedlings. I saved them and they both are large and i've had over 60 flowers from them, my only trouble is I have no idea how to collect seeds. I have looked in the pods, and the seeds are always white and squishy, I dont know how a pod looks with ripened seeds. Seeds seem to pass the variegated form very well. If I knew how to save seeds i'd love to share this beautiful form of this plant. I uploaded an image of it on the database.

Positive Laniy On Oct 2, 2011, Laniy from Amityville, NY wrote:

I've had this plant growing in my garden for at least 20 years and I love the tiny blue flower. It is invasive but is easily removed from the areas you don't want it to grow because it has a very weak root system. I have mostly shade in my yard so this tiny bright blue flower is welcome in mid-summer and especially in the fall when most everything else is beginning to fade. It likes to grow around other plants because the stems need support. This every-day fresh blue flower is a delight to the eye. I have a total organic yard, I use no herbicides or pesticides and have designed my gardens to be on the wild side that's why I let the Asiatic Dayflower grow here.

Positive mikepallies On Aug 8, 2011, mikepallies from Bowlus, MN wrote:

These lush little plants will grow and spread abundantly anywhere but are very easily pulled out where not wanted. They work nice to shade the bases of larger plants like lilies. I have isolated ones with white and green striped leaves that look nice even when not blooming.

Negative smurfwv On Jul 6, 2011, smurfwv from Cabin Creek, WV (Zone 6a) wrote:

Noxious weeds, very hard to get rid of. Roundup won't even kill them all. Do not leave them in a flower bed, they produce seeds like crazy and spread everywhere.

Positive hikinmike On Nov 10, 2010, hikinmike from Pensacola, FL wrote:

As the saying goes, "A weed is simply a plant that is growing where you don't want it." I find these flowers in the lawn of a house we perchased about 2 years ago. I enjoy them.

Negative pastapicker On Nov 8, 2010, pastapicker from Columbus, OH wrote:

I found this plant growing along a rail-trail and was enticed by the beautiful blue of the flowers. Later, after I identified it, I learned that it is highly invasive not only in home gardens (and I have experienced this for myself, still finding it popping up all over the place 5 years after first pulling it out) but also in the natural environment, crowding out native plants. Invasive plants are such a problem for our environment! We may think that we are "controlling" the pest that we want in our gardens, but in fact it is spreading far beyond our view!

Positive themikeman On Aug 25, 2010, themikeman from Concord, NC (Zone 7a) wrote:

this is an invase pest but i love it's blue color, and I admire its spindly different looking leaves. the vegetative growth starts really early and lets you know that spring is here, and although it spreads like wildire, and it's invasive and hard to tame,and get rid of, it keeps the weeds at bay wherever it grows by crowding them out. it looks really cool around large hundred year old oak trees here in the Southeast where it is exremely humid and the moss on these big old trees as well looks really cool in contrast with these when these tiny little blue with yellow dot flowers bloom in the mid summer and then again here in NC in the fall as a wild groundcover at the base of these old trees or around an old plantation house porch. zthis plant just really grows on you.. mike.

Positive sembrown On Nov 5, 2009, sembrown from Clearwater, FL wrote:

I find the blue pigment to be very stable and long-lasting. I collected many petals into a small container of rubbing alcohol and have used it like water-color. The pigment turns green when an alkali (like baking soda) is added.

Positive napdognewfie On Jul 7, 2009, napdognewfie from Cumberland, MD (Zone 6a) wrote:

My great aunt grew these around her shady porch & gave me a few cuttings 40 years ago. It hasn't been too bad, I just pull up the volunteers that come up where I don't want them. Pretty easy to pull when they are small. I love the pretty little blue flowers. When it is finished blooming, I pull all the plants (not much to look at without flowers) & they come back again the next year.

Positive DMgardener On Dec 28, 2008, DMgardener from (Daniel) Mount Orab, OH (Zone 6b) wrote:

This plant is gorgeous in early to mid Summer! It does not spead as much as you would think after reading some of these notes on this plant. The flowers only last from 10:00-1:00 in the height of bloom. They are the most pleasing shade of Blue ing my Gardens!

Negative PlantGirl1982 On Nov 30, 2008, PlantGirl1982 from Cedar Rapids, IA (Zone 5a) wrote:

Pretty in bloom, yes, ugly plant, yes. But just start in spring and pull an it won't really be all that bad.

Negative dmj1218 On Aug 23, 2008, dmj1218 from west Houston, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

Invasive as they get--one of my biggest pests!

Negative juanwillis On Dec 17, 2007, juanwillis from Winchester, MA (Zone 6a) wrote:

As others have noted, it's quite invasive here in Massachusetts, especially in moister areas. Admittedly the flowers are quite pretty, but the plant grows gangly later in summer and crowds out all competition.

Neutral WaterCan2 On Oct 6, 2007, WaterCan2 from Eastern Long Island, NY (Zone 7a) wrote:

I just found out what this was after having it around for a couple of years. I really don't have a problem with them as I find I can eradicate them just by pulling them out of the areas I want to clear. My soil is very sandy, maybe that helps. They have the truest blue flower, which is probably their only saving grace combined with the fact they attract pollinators and song birds. They can however multiply faster than rabbits and have to be kept in check. I keep them around in areas I am not working on...better than having something else take over which is harder to get rid of!

Negative distantkin On Sep 27, 2007, distantkin from Saint Cloud, MN (Zone 4b) wrote:

I am shocked anyone would want this near their yard-it is a very invasive weed at my house....every time I pull it-it comes back double! You can have all you want-just e-mail me!

Neutral rwielgosz On Apr 22, 2007, rwielgosz from Washington, DC (Zone 6b) wrote:

This is a very tough and very fast-growing annual with prodigious self-seeding ability. When it gets tall enough that its weight starts tipping it over, it puts down roots from the stem to help it spread sideways.

It grows in full shade and full sun. It can handle flood and drought. It makes a great groundcover, especially in shady areas. It has brilliant blue flowers with a touch of yellow in the center.

Although it can become invasive over a single season, it dies off every winter. It also has a shallow root system. With consistent weeding you can control it, if not eliminate it. The seeds can apparently lie dormant for years, if not decades. When I pulled up the landscaping fabric that had covered most of my yard for years, the next spring every square inch of the yard sprouted Asiatic Dayflower.

I think it's pretty, and I let it grow where I don't have anything better to plant yet. If it starts invading my other plants' space, it just takes a few minutes to rip it out by the handful.

Negative joegee On Jun 20, 2006, joegee from Bucyrus, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

I finally have a name for this little beastie. I called it Hitler-weed because it invaded everything around it. I'll be pulling this til the day I die. Once established just try to get rid of it. I dare you. This plant was running rampant through my garden when I bought my home. Little did I know after pulling sixty pounds of it (two 55 gallon trash cans) that it would gleefully reappear en masse the following spring. It took Roundup in stride. Does anyone know where I could find some left-over agent orange?

The flowers are pretty, if tiny, and the foliage is nice until summer heat shrivels the leaves and makes the stems leggy, but at least in my area, with temperate climate, modest rains, and average soils this is a plant for garden masochists or enemies. Toss a handful into an out-of-the-way spot of a garden that belongs to someone you don't like: they'll have decades of annoyance.

Just remember that karma can be awful.

Edit:

Asiatic Dayflower is known to be Round-Up (glycophosphate) resistant. Herbicides containing flumioxazin are recommended to kill dayflower infestations. Flumioxazin is marketed by Valent Professional Products as Sureguard and Broadstar, although I like the idea of dropping the little shoots in butter and watching them wilt.

I really do not like this plant.

Negative Malus2006 On Mar 7, 2006, Malus2006 from Coon Rapids, MN (Zone 4a) wrote:

This plant is a superweed, much like the weed oxalis, which will grow anywhere except standing water. Asiatic day flower will grows even in dry shade and dry sunny location, of course, in a smaller form that is slightly less invasive at maybe three to four inches in height. In rich soil with a bit of shade (for me), Asiatic day flower flowers more readiable and grows from one to three feet tall. ( I had a wire fence nearby, so that account for the three feet tall plants). The day flowers are a pain to remove because they can become entangled in my daylilies and the fence, making it difficult to remove all parts of them. They even thrive in my sandy soil! It's a pity no one have developed a clumpy sterile form of this as rich blue flowers are a rarity. I suspect their seeds have a long dormancy so whenever you churn up the soil ie weeding the adult plants, they germinate the next year. Also it might be the most cold hardiness of day flowers, as I have not seen the other species around here. I think I got it from my grandma, which is in zone 3b!

Negative raisedbedbob On Feb 7, 2006, raisedbedbob from Walkerton, VA (Zone 7a) wrote:

Known here a Asiatic Dayflower, it is extremely invasive; but at least it is edible. The young leaves and stems can be added to salads or boiled for 10 minutes and served with butter.

Neutral gregr18 On Jul 31, 2005, gregr18 from Bridgewater, MA (Zone 6b) wrote:

The genus name of this plant was actually named after three members of the Commelin family. As indicated in the definition provided above in the genus info, it was named for Jan and Kaspar Commelin. However, Linnaeus named this particular genus Commelinas for three members of this Dutch family. The flower of a related species, Commelina erecta, has three petals, two conspicuous blue ones, and one small white one. The two blue petals are meant to represent Jan and Kaspar Commelin, both prominent botanists. The smaller white (blue in the case of C. communis) petal represents another Commelin botanist who died before he was able to contribute anything of import to botany.

Negative Gindee77 On Jun 10, 2005, Gindee77 from Hampton, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:

The blue flowers on this weed are pretty but it's so invasive and healthy, it ends up spreading everywhere. I thought it was pretty one year so let it go, that was a big mistake! Now I fight it all the time. One good thing about it is that it pulls very easily. Just don't leave the plants you pull lying around, they will start to grow again!

Positive DawnRain On May 26, 2005, DawnRain from Bartow, FL wrote:

There are several very like flowers of this species. There is one rather rare form that has 3 petals. There is also a 2 petaled species that has much larger blooms than the more common tiny one. Both of those once grew here on taller more upright plants. I assume mowing may have caused their demise. This was once all pastureland when they were plentiful.

The plant with the tiny blooms still lives and invades the garden wherever possible. I have collected 2 plants into pots and found they are perennial. They are in their 4th year in the pots. I love the blue color. If only I had known the larger plants could be lost I would have collected them to preserve.

Neutral MotherNature4 On May 25, 2005, MotherNature4 from Bartow, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

I believe the 2 photos posted by noxiousweed on this page may be incorrect.
According to my information the genus Commelina has unequal petals (one distinctly smaller and often different colored than the other 2).
MotherNature4

Positive gardenwife On Jun 15, 2004, gardenwife from Newark, OH (Zone 5b) wrote:

I know it's invasive, but I love the electric blue flowers. It's not been hard to control; since it's shallow rooted, I just pull out clumps when I want to stem its spread.

Neutral Mr_FernGulley On May 25, 2004, Mr_FernGulley from Onalaska, WI wrote:

I live in Wisconsin. I first found this plant growing at my grandmother's farm when i was about 4yrs old. My grandmother couldn't remember anything about it at the time. Well last summer i brought some iris's home and incedentally brought a little bit of it home too. At first we pulled it out, but it always came back. Now this year it has covered an area of about 8 square feet in 1 season. I find it a very attrative plant and very good ground cover if you dont like pulling weeds. Of course if you dont keep the DayFlower itself in check it will kill off other small plants such as Lily of the Valley.

Neutral duliticola On Jan 1, 2004, duliticola from Longfield, Kent
United Kingdom (Zone 8b) wrote:

I found this plant growing wild in Cuba, and found it grows easily from seed, flowering in a few months. It is very pretty in flower, having a pure blue colour not often seen in flowers and looking like tiny butterflies.
Downside? --- The flowers only last in perfection for about an hour! If anyone has any clones which last longer (even a full day) it would make a more desirable plant.
It grows easily in a small pot or open ground, any soil.
Easily controllable outside here in UK.

Positive VeganGurl20 On Nov 18, 2003, VeganGurl20 from Tulsa, OK wrote:

This plant grows along our fence, and makes a very attractive border for the yard, and the flowers are small, but very bright and pretty. It has stayed restricted to the fence line, and we have never had any problems with it. I enjoy this plant.

Neutral PurplePansies On Nov 14, 2003, PurplePansies from Deal, NJ (Zone 7a) wrote:

Though blossoms are quite blue, they are very tiny. Of course as stated they last only a day. Plant is pretty invasive, although true blue, because of invasiveness and size of the flower I wouldn't recommend this as a garden plant...........

Positive PaulRobinson On Apr 18, 2003, PaulRobinson from Torrance, CA wrote:

Asiatic Dayflower appeared spontaneously in my yard in Los Angeles, California, USA some years ago. While it is certainly invasive, I have found it simple to control, and I truly enjoy the lovely electric blue flowers on that lush green background. It grows with two other "weeds", yellow and red wood sorrel, along with fern beneath a 40 year old Sequoia, I derive as much pleasure from it as from my "formal" roses, etc.

Negative Kelli On Mar 14, 2003, Kelli from L.A. (Canoga Park), CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

I kept pulling it out before it would bloom and go to seed and it kept coming back. The blue is a nice color and uncommon in flowers, though. That helps me live with it, as getting rid of it was just an exercise in futility.

Negative Karenn On Mar 13, 2003, Karenn from Mount Prospect, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:

Several years ago I received this plant as a "bonus" within the pot of another end-of-season purchased perennial. This is VERY invasive, even in my USDA Zone 5a garden. If it's anywhere near moist soil conditions, it is a very aggressive stoloniferous plant. It took 2 years of aggressive "weeding" to get rid of (almost) all of it. I expect I will once again find some with this spring growing season.

Neutral ideboda On Dec 15, 2002, ideboda from T-village ;) - Friesland
Netherlands (Zone 6a) wrote:

It's just a subtropical weed, but it has very attractive blue flowers; the picture Vince submitted on 12/14/2002 has the real colour, but it's so much smaller in reality. The flowers last only a day, and afterwards each fruit contains 1 or 2 brown seeds, oblong and dented all-over, about 2-3 mm long.

I found the plant in the garden of hotel "Neptun" in Dubrovnik (Croatia) in 1983. No idea if the hotel survived the war in the 90's, but I suppose the plant did. It grew among Oleanders and other subtropical garden plants, creeping on the ground, an unsignificant weed. But these truly blue flowers drew my attention, I took a cutting home, and grew it for years in my garden in the Netherlands. I suppose it was an annual, but it sowed itself. It thrived at first, but after a few really cold winters it disappeared.

January 1, 2004
About a year ago I wrote the above story.
Last summer it was extremely hot and dry, unusual for the Netherlands. I was very surprised to see the Blue Dayflower again in my garden after an absence of about 6 or 7 years. Just one plant, showing up around June. I sent in a photo, so you can see.
I wonder if the seeds can wait long till they germinate, or if the plant has come back there every summer but hidden under other, bigger plants. I had cleared that bit of ground because the shrubs standing there weren't too good anymore.
Perhaps it survived this time because of the drought - there weren't as many snails and slugs around as in other years, and those are fond of this plant.

Neutral Terry On Aug 4, 2001, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

Although this plant is closely related to its more well-behaved cousins the Tradescantia (Spiderwort) plants, it is considered an invasive weed by most gardeners, with few redeeming qualities. Its blue flowers are arguably this plant's best feature, but are small unless viewed upclose.

As its common name suggests, the plant was introduced in Asia, and the flowers last but a day. However, repeat blooms keep it blooming for many weeks in mid-summer.

Grow with extreme caution, as it will quickly spread in a cultivated setting.

Regional...

This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Washington D.c.,
Fallbrook, California
Pacoima, California
San Diego, California
Santa Monica, California
Valley Village, California
West Haven, Connecticut
Atlantic Beach, Florida
Bradley, Florida
Clearwater, Florida
Coral Springs, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida
Merritt Island, Florida
Miami, Florida
Myrtle Grove, Florida
Safety Harbor, Florida
South Daytona, Florida
Aldora, Georgia
Brunswick, Georgia
Vernonburg, Georgia
Burr Ridge, Illinois
Hampton, Illinois
Mount Prospect, Illinois
Columbus, Indiana
Macy, Indiana
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Coyville, Kansas
Farmington, Kentucky
New Orleans, Louisiana
Cresaptown-bel Air, Maryland
Potomac, Maryland
Valley Lee, Maryland
Boston, Massachusetts
Halifax, Massachusetts
Needham, Massachusetts
Winchester, Massachusetts
Bay City, Michigan
Erie, Michigan
Grand Haven, Michigan
Royal Oak, Michigan
Bowlus, Minnesota
Little Falls, Minnesota
Minneapolis, Minnesota
St Cloud, Minnesota
Waynesboro, Mississippi
Cole Camp, Missouri
Kansas City, Missouri
Saint Robert, Missouri
West Sullivan, Missouri
Flemington, New Jersey
, New York
Amityville, New York
Massapequa, New York
West Babylon, New York
Concord, North Carolina
Mountain View, North Carolina
Bucyrus, Ohio
Columbus, Ohio
Fruit Hill, Ohio
Glouster, Ohio
Mount Orab, Ohio
Newark, Ohio
Comanche, Oklahoma
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Allentown, Pennsylvania
Ashley, Pennsylvania
Millersburg, Pennsylvania
Osceola, Pennsylvania
Campobello, South Carolina
Spartanburg, South Carolina
Centertown, Tennessee
Crossville, Tennessee (2 reports)
Knoxville, Tennessee
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Viola, Tennessee
Austin, Texas
Baytown, Texas
Blanket, Texas
College Station, Texas
Fort Worth, Texas
Fulshear, Texas
Houston, Texas (2 reports)
Lipan, Texas
Mont Belvieu, Texas
Palm Valley, Texas
San Antonio, Texas
Santo, Texas
Scenic Oaks, Texas
Spring, Texas
West Livingston, Texas
Norfolk, Virginia
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Williamsburg, Virginia
Cabin Creek, West Virginia
Princeton, West Virginia
Brice Prairie, Wisconsin
Muscoda, Wisconsin



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