White Mouth Day Flower

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The White Mouth Day Flower, Commelina erecta, an annual herb, is blooming on the beach. It can be found at Bowditch, Matanzas Pass Preserve and various lawns. It is also found in every county in the State. A reddish stem grows from fibrous roots to mature length of 24”. The stem initially grows along the ground until other plants support it an erect position.  Leaves are alternate on the stem and widely spaced. Leaves are lanceolate  1” to 2” long and ½” wide. The leaf venation is parallel. Each leaf has a short petiole attached to the stem. The petiole is not visible as it is covered by a sheath similar to grasses.

One or two flowers grow from the tip of the stem. The flower’s corolla has two large blue petals and one small white petal. Three blue stamens are curled up in front of the corolla.  At the center of the corolla is a tiny yellow pistil with a female stigma. The flower is bisexual. Flowers open in the morning and close around noon. Fruit is a small capsule with 6 to 8 seeds.

Erecta is in the Commelinaceae (Spiderwort) Family. There are eight species in the Genus Commelina. Only Erecta and C. virginica are native. The entire Spiderwort family are monocots.

Photo by James Rodwell