Home of the Practically Perfect Pink Phlox and other native plants for pollinators

Monday, June 8, 2009

True Blue

The weeds have had their way in the garden and it was time for me to step in! But, there in the middle of the green foliage was a small blue flower.

A true blue flower.

Commelina communis or Asiatic Dayflower...Too bad, it wasn't Virginia Dayflower (Commelina virginica) or Slender Dayflower (Commelina erecta). They are native and ironically, the Asiatic Dayflower is more prevalent then the natives! It's an introduced plant that has made itself home across the Eastern states and Canada. It's considered an invasive in some states...but it is a plant that researches are studying! Go here to read more about its importance to scientists.


I like the true blue of the Asiatic Dayflowers. Like its name hints, it flowers for just one day and in the hot sun...maybe just a few hours! It's a sprawling plant and can root at the leaf nodes, so they wend their way through the garden. With the right conditions...an open space in a moist garden...they can create quite a large colony. One plant can become many quickly.

They rip out fairly easily!

We've had a very wet spring and they seem to be all over the garden. As I was pulling them out, I noticed one especially lovely looking flower and snapped a photo. It wasn't until I uploaded the photos to the computer and saw this ~~
a male syrphid fly, Episyrphus balteatus,
the most common pollinator of the Asiatic dayflower
click to enlarge

No wonder the flower glowed and shimmered!

Gail

"The Best Plants Come with a Story." --Maria Rodale

39 comments:

  1. Gail girl !
    That was awesome : )
    The blue is most certainly BLUE and I too have those moments when I didn't notice that special tag along item with a flower picture .. it is amazing how fast we smile with a gasp many times, when we download that special picture and see how truly detailed and simply wonderful it is !
    Kudos for a great one girl !!
    P.S. Was Canada being blamed for that wonderful BLUE flower ??? LOL

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  2. The Asiatic daylilies are certainly a pest. You are very lucky to attract episyrphus balteatus to your garden. I guess that almost redeems those pesky little daylilies--almost;)
    Marnie

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  3. You just identified this plant for me! I was wondering what the heck it was. I thought some kind of spiderwort. It is in a foundation bed and I have no idea how it got there. I find it charming and leave it to colonize, but may have to tame it a bit next year. It spreads fast! But does help to keep weeds down. Right now it interweaves amongst an azalea and is contained on the other side by the house. Now if you could just identify this lily like thing....

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  4. good one Gail, we had a discussion in the Learning Garden last week about those, and I couldn't come up with the name. thanks!! My mental filing system isn't what is should be.

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  5. It is very pretty, I just love blue flowers.

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  6. I wish all the pretty plants would use their beauty for good and not evil. :-)

    Now, I've got to go take a closer look at a tiny, thin "wildflower or weed" in my garden. There's only one right now.

    Cameron

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  7. Very nice! The flowers are such a great color. It's pretty neat you were able to get a picture of the pollinator!

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  8. Tina, They are members of the spiderwort family...which is s good indicator of how assertive they can be!

    Janet, Glad to help! I usually remember the names after I walk away from someone who asked!

    Dave, I love the real blue...it's a nice color and hard to find in most desired plants!

    Joy, My dear, I feel so lucky when I chance upon little gifys like a tiny spoder on a bloom.. No, I would never blame Canada! I was only saying it loves the Eastern US and Canada...we have the moisture it desires!

    Marnie, Did you see the pollen on its wings...the dayflower is not a nectar producer, but has colors that attract pollinators....

    Phillip, The blue is pretty...why can't it be a desired plant that has that sweet color!

    Cameron, I so agree...instead those evil non-desirables just create a big mess! I am thinking of a few in my garden right now!

    Gail

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  9. It is too bad these things are nearly uncontrollable they are so pretty. I ignored some once because I loved seeing the blooms. That was a mistake. I have them pop up all over the place. I also love the surprise of a small insect that is ignored until you see a photo enlarged on the computer. These little flies are pretty and just look at it working hard pollinating the flowers.

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  10. Your photos are fantastic, Gail, especially the last one--I love it when I have a little "surprise" when I download photos. This flower is such a pretty shade of blue; it must be hard to rip it out while it's blooming. Of course, I thought my garlic mustard had a pretty little flower on it until I identified it and found out what a destructive plant it is. Then it wasn't hard at all to tear it out:)

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  11. That is bluer than blue so lucky you! Isn't it amazing how the garden changes so dramatically this time of year in just a few days? I'll bet it is glad you are home.

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  12. I too like true blue flowers. Only ow I have that song by Madonna stuck in my head, and, um, ick! ;-)

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  13. Rose, It is hard to pull them out...but they are assertive and some how find their way back! So many of my photos are happy accidents! How was your birthday?

    Gail

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  14. Layanee, June is wonderful! But it already feels like July here~speaking of July...it will be here before long and I will see your garden in the middle of the growing season! Yippee!

    Gail

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  15. Monica, You must forgive me...I am so very truly sorry! Quick think of another song you like better! Gail

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  16. Good morning Lisa...The best surprises ever are the little pollinators and spiders that spend time in the garden but are often unseen by our eyes!

    I yank them out, but I think we have to did up the roots, too! That's why invasives are so successful...they dig themselves in!

    Gail

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  17. That is true blue. The best plants do come with a story. The photos is your last post are beautiful.

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  18. My, what big eyes you have when enlarged Mr. Fly! What a wonderful surprise to see the fly once loading the pics. Surprises such as this are the best gift of all...

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  19. Darla, Thank you...I am glad you liked them. It is a good quote!

    Skeeter, He does have quite large eyes...and he was a delightful surprise to see when I opened the photo. I love digital cameras!

    Gail

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  20. Great picture Gail of dayflower and pollinator. Dayflower grows wild here too. The flowers really are true blue. I'd love to see the native species.

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  21. Sweetbay, I would, too...Maybe in one of the parks or woodlands that is far enough away from civilization! So far I've only seen the introduced dayflower.

    gail

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  22. I love surprises like your last photo! I find them too when I'm uploading photos and they make me gasp. Since I don't have the asiatic dayflower I can say how pretty it is. The blue really is "true." I don't know that I want to be weeding it out of my garden tho so it's best if I just admire it on your blog. It's going to be raining here all week so limited weeding & gardening will be done. :-(
    PS I have noticed the watercolor effect that you commented on regarding my canterbury bells. I'm not sure why purples bring it out? It is interesting tho.

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  23. Such a pretty blue, Gail, but way too invasive to be allowed to run rampant here. The spiderworts are equally as bad and have threatened world domination in the ferngully area of great soil. Even though every one has been pulled, there are always more. But I do love the little pollinator. :-)
    Frances

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  24. That's one of those "naughty" flowers that are so beautiful, you hate to remove them. What a beautiful shade of blue! Nice shot with the pollinator. :)

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  25. Frances, Off with their pretty little blue heads! Being members of the spiderwort family they are very aggressive. The pollinator is a cutei pie and welcome anytime. gail

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  26. Nancy, Yes, indeed an naughty plant with a delicious true blue bloom...darn it! I feel so lucky yo have caught the pollinator...and it was luck! gail

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  27. The fly seems to be enjoying the dayflower! The blue shade is gorgeous. Some weeds are really very lovely - at least in samll quantities!
    Katarina

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  28. Oh My! What a beautiful blue flower!! And I just love it when bugs sneak into photos like that. Little buggers (ok that was corny, sorry, couldn't help myself)

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  29. I agree, the true blue is beautiful, Gail, and a shame to be such a pest ... I have many like spiderwort in my garden ... pretty faces but naughty!

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  30. Now that's what I call blue - gorgeous.

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  31. Wow, that is Blue. A beautiful color as well as a flower. It's a shame it's invasive. Cute little pollinator.

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  32. Looks like you found the syrphid fly and the Asiatic dayflower enjoying an intimate moment. That's an incredible photo. I always learn something when reading your blog and I like that.

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  33. True blue flowers are hard to find and tough varieties bearing true blue flowers are even harder.

    I like linum lewisii, but I dont know if it would grow well out there or not.
    Tall blue bachelors buttons also seems to be a deep blue.

    www.lifeseedco.blogspot.com

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  34. That is not a flower I'm familiar with Gail. Too bad it's a thug, since it is such a pretty shade of blue. :)

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  35. Blue is right, you've made a blue post this time with that garden porn at the end. I had to avert my blushing eyes. ;-)

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  36. i love these little flowers. right now there are only a couple blooming and growing in my garden, and they are in areas that are out of the way. i hate to pull them! haha but i suppose i will have to at some point..;) i have pulled them out of the main garden before they've bloomed however...

    thanks for clearing up my mystery flower!! i credited you with this on my blog..:) i appreciate it!!

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  37. Like many others, much as I love the startling blue of Commelina, I can't allow it even one square inch of space in my garden. I do smile when I see it elsewhere, though!

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  38. Gail,

    Go check out my latest blog entry about Mount Bonnell and tell me if the blue flower I found at the Mayfield Nature Preserve really IS the same flower as your Asiatic Daylily! Now I'm not so sure... :)

    xxoo Lynn

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  39. I love Asiatic dayflowers, which run rampant in my garden and make a nice background for bare spots. When I think they're getting out of hand, I just pull a bunch out! I've tried for years to take a decent photo of a flower to no avail - they hate my camera. You inspire me to try again, though they aren't quite blooming here yet.

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Let us be grateful to people who make us happy;
they are the charming gardeners
who make our souls blossom.


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