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Asiatic Dayflower

Asiatic Dayflower in Chicago
Here's another weed that is common in the Chicago area and that grows in my garden. It is called the Asiatic Dayflower and has a true blue color. This is another weed that holds a lot of memories because as a kid we called it "Mickey Mouse flower" because of the two blue petals that sit atop.

Our childish sobriquet glossed over a pretty invasive weed that was possibly introduced into North America as an ornamental plant in the garden. It has been growing on our property ever since I can remember and no amount of weeding has kept it from coming back. Which isn't really so bad because it grows in the shady areas and doesn't seem to spread. It forms a nicely dense border at the bottom of the stairs and along a walkway. This particular bloom was growing right below the orange daylily I posted previously. Like many other weeds this one is pollinated by bees but the leaves are a food favorite of the Six-Spotted Beetle and White- Tailed Deer-neither of which I've ever seen in my garden. The dayflower gets it's name because the flowers are short lived. The Wikipedia entry on this plant states the plant's genus name (Commelina) is derived from the Kommelijn family who had three sons, one of which died at an early age. The dead child is represented by the lower petal of the flower that is white in the Asiatic Dayflower.

I found this an interesting gardening tidbit but can't find any info on the Kommelijn family on Google.


  1. Ah. Now I can do it. Yesterday I tried to comment on the clover and Firefox freaked out on me.

    My daughters love picking clover bouquets and I love the almost celestial feel they lend images when you photograph people amongst them and convert the photo to black and white.

    As to this plant! I can only say thank you. I remember them on the north side of my maternal grandmother's farm house back in Kansas. As I child, I always thought they were beautiful. They made a wonderful dense foundation planting. And as you said, they didn't spread beyond that boundary. I always wondered what they were. My parent's last house had some living in the basement window wells. I got some photos of them at the time. Perhaps someday I will go back to that house and grab a few snatches to plant on the north side of my house.

  2. Very nice flower despite being an invasive. Interesting info too.

  3. Indeed, Spiderwart (Asiatic Dayflower) is invasive but ... I love it! It makes a great cut flower and bouquet. Only 2 species of wild spiderwart are found in Michigan ... host plant for Pearl Crescent butterfly caterpillars so says my Wildflowers of Michigan Field Guide. My garden sports white, various shades of blue and a hot pink. I also purchased one with lime green foliage that is not invasive.

    Enjoyed my visit on your site. Love your photograghy!

  4. Me,

    Glad you could finally post. I wonder if where you and Joey have it growing it if grows alongside another weed like it does in my garden. It has tiny pink flowers...I'll try to find info on it and post it and see if it grows in your areas tool


    Thanks for stopping by.


    Thanks for that info on the butterfly I'll have to look closer and see if I can find any caterpillars on mine. Glad you enjoyed your visit.

  5. Such a pretty flower; shame it's a weed. I can see why it was called the Mickey Mouse plant.

  6. I'm so glad you posted about this! I always wondered what this was called, my mom had lots of it in her northern Indiana garden. I see some up here now, too-most likely from some other plant she gave me. It's very tame for me up here, my climate's too rough. I had been calling it 'Hardy Jew', because the foliage resembles the 'Wandering Jew' houseplant. Now I can call it by its' REAL name!

  7. I've lived in chicago my whole life and I've never seen this plant. I need to keep my eyes open wider.

  8. Lisa,

    Glad the post was of some use.


    I'll post another one soon that I always see growing near this one. The two of them combines make a nice green mound.

    Thanks for stopping by.



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