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Common Name: Birdbill Dayflower
Commelina dianthifolia is a perennial plant that can grow up to 0.10 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and medicine
South-western N. America.
Rocky soils in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas and Mexico[
Prefers a light well-drained loam with added leafmold[
]. Succeeds in an ordinary, reasonably moist soil in a sunny position with some shelter[
Plants are hardy to about -10°c if the roots are protected from freezing[
]. It is probably best to dig up the roots in autumn and store them like dahlias in a cool frost free place[
]. When grown in a light well-drained soil and mulched well, the roots usually survive the winter outdoors[
This species is closely related to C. tuberosa[
The flowers are very ephemeral, individual flowers only living for a few hours[
The following use is for the closely related C. tuberosa, but is also probably appropriate for this species[
Tubers - cooked. Rich in starch[
], but with a fairly bland flavour.
An infusion of the plant is used as an aphrodisiac[
] and as a strengthener for weakened patients with tuberculosis[
Seed - sow early spring in a greenhouse. The seed usually germinates in 4 - 5 weeks at 20°c[
]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots plant them out in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.
Division in early spring. Make sure that each portion has at least one growing bud[
Cuttings during the growing season. Very easy[