Commelinaceae is a family of plants that flower, and it is sometimes referred to as the Dayflower Family or the Spiderwort Family. It includes about 40 genera and about 650 species. Most species are perennial but there are some annual plants.
The majority are terrestrial. Tradescantia has about 70 species and is one of the larger genera in the family. Commelinaceae is from the Commelinales order which also includes families such as Haemodoraceae has about 116 species and includes Anigozanthos or the Kangaroo Paw. Ponterderiaceae includes mostly aquatic species such as the Eichhornia carssipes, Water Hyacinth.
The plants in the Commelinaceae family are mostly herbaceous and mostly ornamental plants. The flowers are short-lived usually lasting one day at a time. They usually lack nectar and only provide pollen, being hermaphroditic they possess both male and female organs. The flowers appear at certain seasons and specific times of the day. Also, some species have male and female flowers that open at different times. The flowers usually grow terminally or from axils.
The plants in this family usually spread by root at nodes or by stolons, or rhizomes. The foliage is usually like sheaths that surround the stems. They usually alternate, they are not lobed or teethed. One strong characteristic is how the leaves unfurl from the bud.
Genera in the Commelinaceae include: