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Commelina benghalensis L.

Commelina benghalensis L.





Vernacular Names


Rum put mayiam.


Wandering jew.


Petungan, kekupu (Javanese), tali korang (Sundanese).


Bias-bias (Tagalog), kabilau (Bisaya), kulkul-Iasi (Iloko).




Kaab pii.


D[aaf]u ri[eef]u, th[af]i l[af]i l[oo]ng.

Geographical Distributions

Commelina benghalensis is widely dispersed in the Old World tropics and the Pacific Islands, and natu­ralized in South America and Florida.


Commelina benghalensis is an annual to perennial, creeping or ascending herb, usually hairy and rhizoma­tous.

The leaves are ovate to elliptical, measure 4-7 cm x 2-4 cm, obtuse to acuminate at apex and with sheath rusty ciliate. Normally, the leaves are with 1 spathe per axil, boat-shaped, about 1.5 cm long and with partly connate margins.

The upper raceme is in spathe with 1-3 sterile flowers while the lower raceme is with 1-5 bisexual flowers. The peduncle is short, and measures 0.5-1 cm long. The flower is 1.5 cm in diametre, and with 3-4 mm long petals. It is blue or violet and rarely white. There are 3 fertile stamens, 3 staminodes with 1 often without the anther while the cleistoga­mous flowers are sometimes underground rhi­zomes. The capsule is elongate-globular. It is 4-6 mm long, 3-­celled and 5-seeded. The seeds are larger than the others. The seed is 1.5-3.5 mm long, strongly ribbed-wrinkled and greyish-brown .

Ecology / Cultivation

Commelina benghalensis is growing in less humid conditions than C. diffusa, on sunny or lightly shaded localities, grasslands, waste places and compost heaps, along roadsides, around vil­lages, on rich, often heavy soils, and from sea level up to 1000 m altitude.

Line Drawing / Photograph


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  1) Safety


  1. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No.12(2): Medicinal and poisonous plants 2.

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