Commelina Species, Scrub Dayflower, Slender Dayflower, Whitemouth Dayflower, Widow's Tears

Commelina erecta

Family: Commelinaceae (ko-mel-ih-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Commelina (kom-uh-LIN-uh) (Info)
Species: erecta (ee-RECK-tuh) (Info)
Synonym:Commelina erecta var. erecta



Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Grown for foliage



Foliage Color:



12-18 in. (30-45 cm)


Unknown - Tell us


USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round in hardiness zone


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Dark Blue

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Mid Fall

Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From herbaceous stem cuttings

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Scottsdale, Arizona

Merced, California

Ellendale, Delaware

Bartow, Florida

Bradley, Florida

Daytona Beach, Florida

Keystone Heights, Florida

Miami, Florida

Sebring, Florida

Springfield, Illinois

Derby, Kansas

Lawrence, Kansas

Barbourville, Kentucky

Cole Camp, Missouri

Elephant Butte, New Mexico

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Manorville, New York

Arlington, Texas(2 reports)

Austin, Texas(2 reports)

Bertram, Texas

Brazoria, Texas

Bulverde, Texas

College Station, Texas

Dallas, Texas

Denison, Texas

Fort Worth, Texas

Harlingen, Texas

Hereford, Texas

Lampasas, Texas

Liberty Hill, Texas

Richmond, Texas

San Antonio, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jul 7, 2017, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

Scrub Dayflower, Slender Dayflower, Whitemouth Dayflower, Hierba de Pollo (Commelina erecta) is very invasive in my yard. My mother and I when I was a little girl were walking to a store on a horribly hot day during a drought. We spotted a plant that had the most incredible blue bloom we had ever seen growing between some rocks. We surmised that this must be one tough plant so we went back to it later, dug it up and took it home. Ooohhhh, what a mistake. It spread everywhere - the flowerbeds, the vegetable garden, the containers. We were unable to totally rid the yard of it despite years of attempting to do so. It has been said that one plant is capable of producing 1600 seeds. The stem joints root also.

When I married and moved to a new house, my mother gave me one ... read more


On Sep 14, 2012, hooligan_angel from Arlington, TX wrote:

I found this plant growing between boulders in a very hot sunny area of my new yard in very poor soil where other things would not grow. Love the flowers, so we kept it when we landscaped that area. Now a tended, watered area it spread quite a bit. Took cuttings and tried it out near the Koi pond in a shady area... Spread beautifully down the waterfall :-) blooms every day since Spring in dry sun, shady water garden, soil-free jars of water in my bathroom and kitchen windows, between rocks near the front door :-) most find it invasive so do be cautious in formal gardens... We enjoy a more natural garden and i LOVE seeing it's dainty blue flowers all over the yard :-) didn't know the name of it until today. Thanx Dave'sGarden!


On Aug 20, 2012, paula_p from Brazoria, TX (Zone 9b) wrote:

One of the most invasive WEEDS that grows on the gulf coast. A constant battle to keep this weed from taking over!


On May 27, 2011, vossner from East Texas,
United States (Zone 8a) wrote:

I got this in a trade w/ a lovely DGer and it got no respect the first year. I watered when I remembered and it stayed unprotected during winter. Having read that it may be invasive, I planted it in a hanging basket to avoid problems down the road. I'm impressed w/ the beautiful blue flowers, but it is not coming out of the pot!


On Feb 19, 2009, dmj1218 from west Houston, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

very invasive down here--I battle it every year!


On Mar 8, 2005, DawnRain from Bartow, FL wrote:

This is a beautiful wild flower native to Florida. I have been experimenting with it, hoping I could increase the size of the bloom. Natural here, but more of a problem are the commelina that grow as a vining matt. The bloom is smaller, but still that lovely color.


On Mar 7, 2005, melody from Benton, KY (Zone 7a) wrote:

Found in sandy, rocky areas, open woods and gravel flats from Eastern CO to southeastern AZ, NM, and TX...also, somewhat in the eastern US in waste places.

The Spanish name, Hierba de Pollo, means 'herb of the chicken'


On Nov 16, 2003, xyris from Sebring, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

Commelina erecta is a native plant from the southeastern and south-central United States south into central America. Although it is an increaser with disturbance, it is an attractive wildflower of natural areas, particularly on dry, sandy soils. This is an example of a species which is native in the United States, but an an invasive exotic in South America.


On Nov 14, 2003, Monocromatico from Rio de Janeiro,
Brazil (Zone 11) wrote:

This is a common invasive species in North America and the humid southern half of South America, where it colonized firstly as an ornamental plant, then became invasive. This plant can compete against some grasses over naked fertile soil, and win sometimes. I had this plant growing in my containers once, and had a lot of work to get rid of it.

But I can say that the flower is really nice, though. The sky blue collor is not very common, and is, of course, way more pleasant than most of invasive weeds.

It can be planted on moist, rich soil, under full sun to partial shade. Its frost resistant. I wouldnt grow this plant, but it may be an interesting choice as a ground cover.