Commelinales and Zingiberales Week: Identifying Cyanotis species

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Feb 7, 2011, 6:40:55 AM2/7/11
to indiantreepix
Hello all.
Thanks to the initiator Gurcharan-ji and  and the mentor Mr.  Mayur of this weeks focus families.
I have attached 3 pics,  identified the first two pics as C.cristata, This plant was one of the first to emerge from the baked soil at the end of Summer, when most of the ground was barren brown.     T
Third picture  I am not sure  which Cyanotis

 to distinguish  the species of Cyanotis.. (as  mentioned in the earlier discussions on this group.  : cristata, fasciculata, tuberosa, vaga ).
 this is what I use , ; please correct if I am wrong .
fasciculata:  leaves  ovately elliptic ,  , few flowered inflorescence, axillary or terminal
tuberosa:  leaves, stem with silky hairs,  bracts with long hairs, has a crown like  structure, but not as distinctive as cristata
cristata: leaves linear or oblong, , stem little  puberulous,  many flowered  cincinni ( scorpiod cyme??)  consequently it looks like a distinctive  crown     [c.cristata is supposed to be obviously  "cristate" ( Efora of China/ Pakistan).... wondering what that refers to}.
vaga: ??

It would be nice If  simple keys  for Indian species of Cyanotis or Commelina emerge  during  this weeks  activities.   It would at least  help definitive id of common species at the time of spotting itself.
thanks  and regards


Mayur Nandikar

Feb 7, 2011, 8:58:06 AM2/7/11
to A.Sinha, indiantreepix
This might be Cyanotis tuberosa 
Sinha ji If you don't mind please provide the locality details and according to you this emerged from baked soil that means may be possibility of underground tuberous and Cyanotis cristata is glabrous herb and spathe is also glbrous. 

Cyanotis tuberosa Schult. f. Syst. Veg. 7: 1153. 1830; Clarke in: DC., Mon. Phan. 249. 1981; Cooke, Fl. Pres. Bombay 3: 302. 1906; Matthew, Fl. Tamilnadu Carnatic 365, 1981; Matthew & Britto, Fl. Tamilnadu Carnatic 3: 1963. Type: India. Tradescantia tuberosa Roxb., Pl. Cor. T. 108, 1798. 

                 Roseete perennial, erect to ascending herb. Root tuberous, 3-8 cm. Reproductive shoots arise from the base of the rosette. Stem green hirsute Stem green, hirsute; internodes 2 - 9.5 cm. Rosette leaves distichous, green; sheath 1.4- 5.5. cm, hirsute, mouth ciliate, lamina linear- lanceolate, 20  -  39 x 2.5 – 3 cm, margin ciliate, upper surface glabrous lower surface hirsute, apex acute. Cauline leaves distichous, green; sheath 0.7 – 2.5 cm, hirsute, mouth ciliate, lamina linear – lanceolate, 3 – 13 x 1.5 – 2 cm, margins ciliate, upper surface glabrous, lower surface hirsute, apex acute. Cymes terminal or axillary, peduncles 0.5 – 3 cm, hirsute with a band of dense cilia opposite the bract. Bracts foliaceous green or purple, lanceolate – ovate, 1 – 2.5 x 0.3 – 0.  7cm, base chordate, margin ciliate, hirsute, apex acute. Bracteoles green or purple, ovate  to falcate, 0.4 – 1.4 x 0.3 – 0.9 cm, margins ciliate, hirsute exposed areas purple in colour, apex  acute. Sepals 3, pale white, lanceolate, up to 5.25 x 1mm, basally connate, margins ciliate, hirsute. Petals 3, blue violet or purple, 7- 7.5 x 3 – 3.25mm, fused, margins entire, glabrous. Stamens 6, up to 1.1cm long blue, bearded, hairs blue to violet, sub apical bulging; anther lobe yellow. Ovary 1 – 1.4 x 1x 1.1mm, pale green, ovate, hairy, densely ciliate; style violet – blue, sub apical bulging; stigma simple. Capsule 0.35 x 0.2 cm, stramineous with dark brown streaks, ovate, apex ciliate, glabrous elsewhere. Seeds 1.52 x 1.25 – 1.3mm, pyramidal, pale brown –brown or grey or reddish, tests reticulate, shallowly and irregularly pitted; hilum ventral, rounded, embryotega terminal.

Mr. Mayur D. Nandikar,
Research Student,
Department of Botany,
Shivaji University,


Feb 11, 2011, 2:59:47 AM2/11/11
to efloraofindia,

Thank you very much for the corrected id "Cyanotis tuberosa" and
detail description..
Forgot to mention, the location is outskirts of bangalore, taken in
end May 2009

Based on the various efloraindia discussion on Cyanotis psecies, some
typical attributes which one could use for initial identification
could be as below. I would appreciate if you could coment on this.

tuberosa : Stem , leaves, bracts hirsute , but leaf upper lamina
glabrous, rossette leaves, stem leaves linear/lanceolate, condensed
scorpioid cyme
cristata: Stem ,leaves glabrous, condensed scorpiod cyme ( also
bracketed with C.cerifolia)
fasciculata : stem leaves puberulous, inflorescence :
fasciculate ( hence no crown like structure ?? )
axillaris: solitary flower; in leaf axils, plant glabrous


On Feb 7, 6:58 pm, Mayur Nandikar <> wrote:
> This might be *Cyanotis tuberosa *
> Sinha ji If you don't mind please provide the locality details and according
> to you this emerged from baked soil that means may be possibility of
> underground tuberous and *Cyanotis cristata *is glabrous herb and spathe is
> also glbrous.
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