FoI
Scurvy Grass   
Foto info
Scurvy Grass
A Native Photo: P.S. Sivaprasad
Common name: Scurvy Grass, Scurvy Weed, Wandering Jew, Bearded Commelina
Botanical name: Commelina ensifolia    Family: Commelinaceae (Dayflower family)
Synonyms: Commelina lunata, Commelina undulata var. setosa

Scurvy Grass is a trailing herb with stems prostrate, producing roots at the nodes. The plant has been eaten as a green vegetable by Aboriginals in Australia. European settlers also ate the plant to prevent scurvy, giving rise the common name of scurvy grass. Stems are longitudinally ribbed and clothed in pale hairs. Leaves are semi-fleshy. Leaf blades 4.5-10 cm long, 1-3 cm broad, free leaf-stalk nil, sheathing leaf-stalk about 1.5 cm long. Leaves are clothed in pale hairs. Flowers emerge from a broad cup-like bract 10-15 x 20-26 mm, clothed in hairs. Flower-cluster-stalk is about 1.2 cm long. Flower-stalk about 5 mm long. Flowers are about 2 cm diam. Outer tepals are translucent, dimorphic 5-6 x 4-6 mm or 3 x 2 mm. Inner tepals dimorphic 9-10 x 11-12 mm, deep blue in color 3-4 x 3 mm and white or translucent. Stamens are dimorphic, anthers about 2 mm long on filaments about 4 mm long and versatile or anthers about 2.5 mm long on filaments about 3 mm long and not versatile. Style is 4.5-5 mm long, curved like a fish-hook. fruit enclosed in a large bract. Scurvy Grass is found in Australia, South India, and Sri Lanka.

Identification credit: P.S. Sivaprasad Photographed in Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary, Idukki distt., Kerala.

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