Commelina dubia Kunth
Commelina hirsute (Wight) C.B.Clarke
Commelina intermedia Schltdl.
Commelina japonica Kunth
Commelina longicaulis Kunth
Commelina nilagirica Steud. ex C.B.Clarke
Commelina paniculata Kunth
Heterocarpus hirsutus Wight
Common Name: Blue Spider Wort
Close-up of the flower
Photograph by: Not known
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Blue spider wort is a perennial plant growing from a dense cluster of elongate fleshy-thickened roots[
]. It can grow from 40 - 70cm tall[
Sometimes harvested from the wild for its edible root, it is often grown as an ornamental in gardens[
C. America - El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala to northern Mexico.
Moist fields or meadows or open forest, often in pine-oak forest or with Juniperus at elevations of 900 - 3,500 metres in Guatemala[
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
A plant of medium to high elevations in the tropics[
Prefers a light well-drained loam with added leafmold and a warm sunny position[
]. Established plants are drought tolerant[
], though they die back to the roots in periods of drought[
A very ornamental plant[
This plant is very attractive to slugs[
Tubers - cooked[
]. The plant forms a clump of thin finger-shaped roots about 7 - 10cm long. These are easily harvested, though overall yields are low. The roots have a fairly bland flavour and an acceptable texture[
]. By no means a favourite root crop, but acceptable in small quantities[
Seed - sow March in a greenhouse. The seed usually germinates in 4 - 5 weeks at 20°c[
]. Prick the seedlings out into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle and plant out in late spring or early summer after the last expected frosts.
Division in early spring. The root clump consists of a number of finger-shaped roots joined together at their tops. When dividing this, it is important to ensure that each division has at least one growing bud at the top[
]. Pot up the divisions and grow them on in a greenhouse or cold frame until they are established and then plant them out in late spring, after the last expected frosts[
Cuttings during the growing season. These root very easily[
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