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Federal Noxious Weed
TDA Noxious Weed
TPWD Prohibited Exotic Species
Invasive Plant Atlas of the US

NOTE: means species is on that list.

Commelina benghalensis


Tropical Spiderwort

Synonym(s): Benghal dayflower
Family: Commelinaceae
Duration and Habit: Perennial Herb


Photographer: Theodore Webster
Source: USDA Agricultural Research Service

Description

Leaves are alternate, lily-like, 1.2-2.8 in. (3-7 cm) long and often have reddish hairs towards the tip. Aboveground flowers are very small with relatively large lilac to blue petals and are present from the spring into the fall. Underground flowers, which grow on burrowing rhizomes, are white and very small.

Ecological Threat: Tropical spiderwort forms, dense, pure stands, smothering out other plants, especially low-growing crops. It has been reported recently as a problem in cotton in Alabama. In pastures, it grows rapidly over desirable grasses and legumes, competing with them for light and nutrients. In rice and other lowland crops it may be almost subaquatic withstanding flooding and waterlogged conditions, but they can also be found in cultivated lands, field borders, gardens, grasslands, roadsides, and waste places, and can become the dominant species in pastures.

Biology & Spread: The plants reproduce by seeds, stolons, and rooting at nodes of stems. One plant can produce as many as 1600 seeds.

History: Was first found in the United States in 1963.

U.S. Habitat: Benghal dayflower invades areas with moist soil including roadsides, grasslands and other disturbed areas.

Distribution

U.S. Nativity: Introduced

Native Origin: Asia and Africa

U.S. Present: AL, CA, FL, GA, HI, LA, NC

Distribution: Currently not found in Texas.

If you believe you have found tropical spiderwort, please report this species.

Mapping

Invaders of Texas Map: Commelina benghalensis
EDDMapS: Commelina benghalensis
USDA Plants Texas County Map: Commelina benghalensis

Resembles/Alternatives

False dayflower (Commelinantia anomala)

Management

Property managers and cooperators may use these strategies:

Cultural Control: Plants readily root at the nodes of the creeping stems, especially when cut or broken, making these weeds difficult to control in field areas. Sections on the soil surface root readily during rainy weather or in the shade of crop plants.

Chemical Control:University of Florida tests conducted in 2000 showed that Command and Spartan used in combination or alone were effective April to early June, but effectiveness trailed off later in the season. Methods Development has found that 46 brands of herbicide are labeled for use on dayflower. However, farmers in Florida have not been able to control tropical spiderwort effectively with chemicals. Control with herbicides is difficult because many seeds germinate after the initial flush of summer weeds and part of the seeds are produced underground.

Biological Control: None is known.

USE PESTICIDES WISELY: ALWAYS READ THE ENTIRE PESTICIDE LABEL CAREFULLY, FOLLOW ALL MIXING AND APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS AND WEAR ALL RECOMMENDED PERSONAL PROTECTIVE GEAR AND CLOTHING. CONTACT YOUR STATE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE FOR ANY ADDITIONAL PESTICIDE USE REQUIREMENTS, RESTRICTIONS OR RECOMMENDATIONS. MENTION OF PESTICIDE PRODUCTS ON THIS WEB SITE DOES NOT CONSTITUTE ENDORSEMENT OF ANY MATERIAL.

Text References

Domestic Programs Pest Evaluation. Arthur E. Miller, USDA-APHIS-PPQ, AERO, Raleigh, NC. November 26, 2001.

Online Resources

Bugwood.org

Search Online

Google Search: Commelina benghalensis
Google Images: Commelina benghalensis
NatureServe Explorer: Commelina benghalensis
USDA Plants: Commelina benghalensis
Invasive Plant Atlas of the United States: Commelina benghalensis
Bugwood Network Images: Commelina benghalensis

Last Updated: 2013-12-09 by HTG
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