Asiatic Dayflower

colored pencil drawing of asiatic dayflowers
Asiatic Dayflower, Commelina communis

These tiny, elegant, bright blue flowers are good for brightening up one’s day, at least until two or three o’clock, anyway, when the petals dissolve in a sticky blue blob. If you look closely, they actually have three petals—the two large blue ones, and one tiny white one. Their genus, Commelina, is named for the three Commelin brothers, two of which were very active in the field of botany, and one who amounted to almost nothing botanically speaking (much like the three petals of the flowers).

Asiatic Dayflowers are garden escapees that are particularly easy to return to captivity—they transplant easily, and their seeds are quite viable. They will reseed themselves all summer long, though the first frost will kill them off. Then in the spring, the seeds grow again. They also do well in pots; as the plants grow old and die off, new ones start appearing. A member of the Spiderwort family, they also propagate well by cuttings. But they can take over semi-shaded gardens, and they’re nearly impossible to eliminate once established (in that regard, it’s probably better to keep them as a houseplant, in a controlled environment. I really don’t recommend planting them outside). At least they are entirely edible as well as pretty!