Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Perennial or occasionally annual herbs, rarely twining. Leaves alternate, simple, sheathing at base; petiole often present; lamina narrow or expanded, parallel veined. Inflorescence various, basically cymose, several-flowered. Flowers usually bisexual, regular or irregular; sepals 3, usually green, sometimes petaloid and coloured; petals 3, usually blue or white, equal or unequal, often with basal half much narrower than more or less broadly ovate to subcircular distal half; stamens (or sometimes staminodes) in 2 whorls of 3, filaments usually slender, anthers fixed at base or versatile; carpels 3, fused, superior; ovary with 3 chambers, often imperfectly developed, ovules 1–many in each functional chamber of ovary. Fruit usually a loculicidal 2- or 3-chambered capsule; seeds with endosperm.

About 700 species in about 50 genera, common in tropical and subtropical regions; only Tradescantia occurring in Victoria.

Species of Tradescantia (Spiderwort) and Zebrina pendula (Wandering Jew; a vernacular name also used for Tradescantia albiflora) are commonly cultivated.

Source: Conn, B.J. (1994). Commelinaceae. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 2, Ferns and Allied Plants, Conifers and Monocotyledons. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
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life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Lilianae
order Commelinales
Higher taxa
family Commelinaceae
Subordinate taxa
genus Commelina
genus Tradescantia