Commelina diffusa 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Liliopsida Commelinales Commelinaceae

Scientific Name: Commelina diffusa
Species Authority: Burm.f.
Common Name(s):
English Climbing Dayflower, Creeping Day Flower, Birdbill Dayflower, Spreading Dayflower

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2010-12-04
Assessor(s): Kumar, B.
Reviewer(s): Narasimhan, D., Ravikumar, K., Juffe Bignoli, D. & García, N.
Contributor(s): Molur, S., Allen, D. & Knees, S.G.
The species is assessed as Least Concern as it has a wide distribution in the tropics and sub-tropics with no known threats.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2013 Least Concern (LC)
2011 Least Concern (LC)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: The species is distributed in the pantropics and subtropics including Yemen, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Viet Nam, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Korea, Taiwan, New Caledonia, Guyana and South Africa.  It has not been recorded from Saudi Arabia, but is considered likely to occur (Chaudhary 2001). The species has been widely introduced and is considered a serious weed in agricultural crops.

In India, it is found at an altitude of up to 1,400 m in the Western Ghats. Widely distributed in Kerala (Thekkady, Periyar Tiger Reserve, Palghat), Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Bihar, Gujarat, Goa, Karnataka (Udupi); Mizoram, Punjab, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Maharashtra (Ahmednagar, Akola, Amaravadi, Bombay, Chandrapur, Kolhapur, Nagpur, Nasik, Osmanabad, Pune, Raigad, Ratnagiri, Satara, Sholapur, Sindhudurg, Thane), Madhya Pradesh (Balaghat,  Damoh, Dhar, Hoshangabad, Katni, Mandla, Panna, Rajnandgaon, Surguja) and Chattisgarh (Bastar, Bilaspur, Raipur) (Cook 1996, Lakshminarasimhan 1996, Khanna and Ram Saran 2001).

In the Arabian Peninsula, this species occurs on the escarpment from Wadi Hidran north to Rujum, but mostly in the high rainfall areas of Ibba and the central escarpment in Yemen (Wood 1997, Al Khulaidi in prep.).
Countries occurrence:
Bangladesh; Bhutan; Cambodia; China (Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Tibet [or Xizang], Yunnan); Guyana; India (Andaman Is., Bihar, Chattisgarh, Goa, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Mizoram, Nicobar Is., Punjab, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal); Korea, Republic of; Lao People's Democratic Republic; Malaysia; Myanmar; Nepal; New Caledonia; South Africa; Sri Lanka; Taiwan, Province of China; Thailand; Viet Nam; Yemen (North Yemen)
Upper elevation limit (metres): 2500
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Globally, it is a common species (Cook 1996).

In the Arabian Peninsula, there is no information available on population trends.
Current Population Trend: Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Globally, it is a common weed usually found in damp shady places near water but also found in open swamps and marshes and sometimes found floating in mats (Cook 1996). This species also occurs as a weed in cultivated fields (Khanna and Ram Saran 2001), forests, thickets, streamsides, and humid open places. It is found from near sea level to 2,100 m (eFloras 2011).
Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat: No

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade:

The leaves are widely used for poulticing sores in Peninsular Malaysia. But the crushed leaves and stems are used for irregular menstruation. Dirty wounds are poulticed with the mucilage from the stems in Indonesia. In some areas, leaves used as an ointment and absorptive.

The whole plant is boiled and the water drunk as a charm for hunting the savanna deer by the Guyana Patomona. In North West Guyana, it is used to treat biliousness, loss of hair, kidney disease, and to cleanse womb and tubes. Socially used as a ceremonial leaf (

Bruised plant is locally used against burns, itches and boils (Cook 1996). The petal juice can be used as a dye for painting (eFloras 2011).

In the Arabian Peninsula, there is no evidence that this species is used.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Globally, there are no known significant past, ongoing or future threats to this species.

In the Arabian Peninsula, there are no known significant past, ongoing of future threats to this species.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Globally, no conservation measures have been taken for the species. There are no conservation measures in place and none needed.

In the Arabian Peninsula, no conservation measures have been taken for the species. There are no conservation measures in place and none needed.

Citation: Kumar, B. 2013. Commelina diffusa. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T177028A17627935. . Downloaded on 28 November 2015.
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