A True Blue “New Native” Flowering Herb
There’s a corner of space outside of my bedroom window that’s often passed by without much thought. It’s a nice little corner; mostly shaded and sits west of our pond.
It sat largely untended, except to be mowed, for a number of years. Until last year, when I planted some spiderwort, hosta, fern, and, as I see by the sapling that has sprouted, someone had decided to put an acorn in the ground here.
When I take my walks I glance at this space, noticing what might be going on in the corner, when in early summer, I noticed a new plant. At first, it was just in a few spots, and never quite remembering if I had spew seed of some sort, I left it be to see what might become of it.
I observed on numerous occasions how much it was seeming to take over that corner and “vine” out in an invasive spreading fashion. I started to worry about the plants that I had actually put in the ground there. My curiosity sure wanted to know what it was, but busy-ness, as busy-ness does, stole time away for me to research.
Now, late July, having spread considerably, and showing signs that it quite possibly could choke out, as it sometimes does, the other natives I have planted, I see the quaint blue flowers. Unfurled by early morning, and only lasting a day, they resemble blue mouse ears and sport a heckuva mustache.
I had to know & stole time back.
It is the Asiatic Dayflower (Commelina communis).
Another transplant from Asia that has gone viral in our country, and not playing well with others Yes, it can be invasive; yes, it can choke out natives. But it is pretty. I often wonder, “Well, we’re all immigrants anyway, us “new natives” in this land. Why not this one?” I say this lovingly except for Japanese Honeysuckle.
A member of the Spiderwort family, and, as most things in nature are, the Dayflower does have its uses. As it thrives in most any kind of light, and finds its footing on disturbed ground, it covers up the soil – nature’s bandaid to protect its precious resource. Of course, its nutrition to birds, fungi, insects and mammals alike. Its flowers are edible and have also been used as a dye, it being one of the few flowers that is actually a “true blue”. And, as an annual herb, it has had its medicinal uses for centuries.
So, naturally, being a naturalist, I’ll leave it.
Yes, I’ll intervene, as man likes to, and keep it from overtaking its neighbors, but I also know, that Nature in its natural progression, will take care of itself without any help from me.