Commelina benghalensis

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Photographs by: Dr. Maulik Gadani

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  • Botanical Name : Commelina benghalensis L.
  • Common Name : Motu Shishmudiyu, Whiskered Commelina
  • Plant Family : Commelinaceae
  • Plant Form : Herb
  • Occurrence (Sectors) : 1-3, 5, 8, 10, 12, 16, 17, 22, 26, 27, 29, 30
  • Occurrence (Special Areas) : Indroda Park, Punit Van, Van Chetana Kendra, Aranya Van, Sarita Udyan

About Commelina benghalensis Plant :

  • Habit : An annual herbaceous weed, with branched tap root system.
  • Stem : Slender, semi-erect or creeping, cylindrical, branched, hairy, nodes and internodes distinct, greenish with purplish tinge.
  • Leaves : Simple, exstipulate, sessile or shortly petiolate with sheathing leaf base, amplexicaul, hairy, ovate or oblong-lanceolate, entire or repand, multicostate parallel venation.
  • Inflorescence :Terminal, bifid cymes surrounded by 1-3 spathes or bracts; spathesconduplicate; one cyme with 2-3 flowers whereas other cyme of 1-2 flowers.
  • Flowers :
    • Bracteate, pedicellate, complete, zygomorphic, bisexual, hypogynous, trimerous, cyclic, blue in colour, flowers are also subterranean and cleistogamous.
    • Perianth made up of 6 tepals, arranged in two whorls of three each; outer whorl of 3 represents calyx in which the sepals are polysepalous, inferior, membranous, obovate and petalloid (white); inner whorl of 3 represents corolla in which one of the petals is larger being conduplicate, polypetalous, imbricate, clawed and blue.
    • Androecium of 6 stamens, of which 3 fertile and remaining 3 sterile represented by blue staminodes, antiphyllous; filament filiform, smooth, light blue; anthers dithecous with discrete and divaricate as 'x'-shaped lobes, both dorsifixed and basifixed, bright yellow.
    • Gynoecium tricarpellary, syncarpous,  superior, trilocular (one locule with one ovule and other two locules with two ovules each), axile placentation; style simple, filiform, whitish-purple, distal end circinately coiled; stigma capitate.
  • Fruit : Membranous, pyriform capsule.
  • Flowering and Fruiting Time : Throughout the year.
  • Significance :
    • Common weed everywhere.
    • The entire plant is used as a laxative and also in the treatment of leprosy.