Commelina Species, Blue Spiderwort, Day Flower, Widow's Tears

Commelina coelestis

Family: Commelinaceae (ko-mel-ih-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Commelina (kom-uh-LIN-uh) (Info)
Species: coelestis (koh-el-ES-tis) (Info)
View this plant in a garden




Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


3-6 in. (7-15 cm)


USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us



Bloom Color:

Dark Blue

Medium Blue

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Elmore, Alabama

Fort Payne, Alabama

Huntsville, Alabama

Montevallo, Alabama

Martinez, California

Merced, California

Richmond, California

Stamford, Connecticut

Bartow, Florida

Bradley, Florida

Deltona, Florida

Jacksonville, Florida

Longwood, Florida

Mc David, Florida

Hawkinsville, Georgia

Divernon, Illinois

Madison, Illinois

Alburnett, Iowa

Louisville, Kentucky

Randolph, Massachusetts

Blissfield, Michigan

Saint Cloud, Minnesota

Croton On Hudson, New York

Fultonville, New York

Fuquay Varina, North Carolina

Wilmington, North Carolina

Hulbert, Oklahoma

Camden, South Carolina

Ladys Island, South Carolina

Nashville, Tennessee

College Station, Texas

Denison, Texas

New Caney, Texas

Weatherford, Texas

Virginia Beach, Virginia

Liberty, West Virginia

Oconomowoc, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Oct 26, 2014, TweezersClorine from Limerick,
Canada wrote:

This plant has beautiful flowers and is not invasive at all where I live. Of course I am in northern Canada in zone 3(sometimes 2) so maybe the -40 degree weather keeps it in check.. it spreads slowly and looks great, when I want more I have to dig up a piece and transplant it.


On Jun 8, 2014, kindredpup from Back Mountain, PA wrote:

This plant may look pretty and last all summer long but DON'T USE IT unless you have a very large area that you will never weed and don't mind if it takes over. True to what other negative reviewers have said, this plant is difficult to eradicate. A slip was given to me 20 years ago. When it consumed the beautiful garden I created of irises and tulips, I attempted to eradicate it 5 years ago and replant this plot (no easy task at 44' long). Sorry to say, there are pieces of this darned thing that still poke through the weed barrier and other plants. It is NOT WORTH it. There are plenty of other plants that can give you long-lasting beauty in your garden --- and be headache free! While the giver did not know the name of the plant at the time, I am now thinking I received the invasive ... read more


On Apr 18, 2013, true_blue from Montreal, QC (Zone 4b) wrote:

For the lovers of true blue flowers: The flowers are true blue. I had the Sleeping Beauty cultivar. It is an easy plant to grow. It flowers from June to September. However, the main problem is that flowers close by noon.


On Jan 27, 2013, temafilly from Oconomowoc, WI (Zone 4b) wrote:

Always thought this was a Tradescantia, but I`ll enjoy it just the same whatever it is. And in my Z4, it seems to rely on seed for continuance, as when I remove it from somewhere, it usually stays gone. If I find seed, they get tossed where I`d prefer the plant to grow; it looks lovely on the edge of the Hosta bed and adds brightness and contrast among summer-green Mums!


On Jun 21, 2012, mmanchuso from Randolph, MA wrote:

i am in massachusetts, saw this plant growing in woods and brought some home. its a nice groundcover/filler starting in late spring thru summer but spreads easily and rapidly all over. i havent minded it too much as it fills in space between dying spring blooms and growing summer plants. i just go around and thin it out. i havent tried to permanantly remove it ,so i dont know how tough that would be. someone just recommended planting it in pots in the ground so it wont spread.... havent tried that yet either. it seems to be very happy in every light or soil condition in my yard... so, depending on your gardening preferences, its a nice low maintenance wildflower, or its an annoying weed i suppose!


On Jun 19, 2012, mygardens from Croton-on-Hudson, NY (Zone 6b) wrote:

Grows in between some stone steps for years and hasn't seemed to spread at all. Maybe because there is mostly stone around it?


On Mar 25, 2011, mccaine from Wilmington, NC (Zone 8a) wrote:

I divided one clump into 10 and put them near the edge of my woodland garden behind daffodils to hide the daffodil foliage as it fades. And they have been very well behaved. The grassy mounds are 24" tall and reliably bloom in late spring and early fall which is nice to have in a shady woodland garden. Maybe mine aren't invasive because they are in the shade. Or maybe they are better suited in a naturalizing capacity with daffodils and solomans seal. Not good for beds, I guess, but they are welcome in my yard in zone 8 (se Carolina)


On Feb 22, 2010, Sensible from Den Bosch,
Netherlands wrote:

I am afraid a lot of people confuse the different types of commelina. This specific type of commelina, the coelestis, is not invasive in my garden. It forms a clump of thin tuberous roots about 5 - 10cm long. These are easily harvested (which one has to do with very cold and wet winters, otherwise you lose this type of commelina).
This type has blue flowers with three rounded petals. It has three yellow staminodes above, three blue stamen below and one central stamen. If you check out the pictures now you know which ones really are the coelestis and which ones are a different type of commelina :) To have one good picture as a comparison, take Evert's!


On Apr 9, 2009, mjhardine from Virginia Beach, VA wrote:

Thought this would be a good backdrop for my front yard bed. Turned out that it decided it wanted all of the bed. Planted it 3 years ago and it propagated on its own very rapidly. Went from 6 plants to about 30 in one season. Showed up 8-10 feet away from where I planted it. Very invasive. Have decided to remove it for two seasons, now, and there are still sprouts coming up. You definately have to get all of the root system. Have also found some 180 degrees on my property from where they originally went into the ground. Birds must have carried it. Very difficult to remove, chemically or by excavation means. Needless to say, this is a great plant gift for someone you do not like.


On Nov 12, 2007, standinntherain from Liberty, WV (Zone 6b) wrote:

This plant grows wild in West Virginia, it's always along the creek banks. It's beautiful and I love it being there, but I'm pretty sure it's not a native plant.


On Oct 18, 2007, tbweber from Huntsville, AL wrote:

Very invasive weed in North Alabama. While the flowers are pretty for a brief period, the plant is spindly and not attractive.


On Jul 9, 2007, distantkin from Saint Cloud, MN (Zone 4b) wrote:

This plant grows freely in zone 4. I have been pulling it out as I thought it was a weed (until I saw it here). It even has been growing in the cracks of the driveway. It seems to like both full sun to partial shade. I will try to replant it in a better location and keep you posted on how it does.


On Jul 21, 2006, princessnonie from New Caney, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

People call them "Widow's Tear's" because they dry up by noon..
I have to give them a neutral.. They really are pretty and carefree but very invasive in this part of Texas.I find them impossible to weed out and they seem to be immune to herbicide.


On Feb 27, 2005, DawnRain from Bartow, FL wrote:

I also am in central Florida and I agree that it spreads itself very freely here. But it blooms year round and is very pretty. I don't mind it in the flower beds and mow it in the yard. My only complaint would be that the flowers close early on a hot day.


On Feb 24, 2005, Chrissy823 from Eustis, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

Seems to be very invasive in Central Florida. It has taken over my back yard, and is very hard to remove. If you mow over it, it seems to laugh at you, and grown taller just to taunt your efforts. Pretty flowers, but a pain in the neck.


On May 9, 2004, bayouposte from Bossier City, LA (Zone 8a) wrote:

Planted one last year. Came back this year (8a), just the one plant. I wouldn't mind having a few more, but certainly not invasive in the location I have it now.


On May 8, 2004, jreamy from Toledo, OH wrote:

I found this plant growing wild in a ditch outside the Toledo airport. I dug it up, took it home, dug another hole (in full sun) and stuck it in. I watered it regularly until it became established and then only during the hottest part of the summer. It took right off and came back this year. It has roots though, not bulbs. They are pretty far-reaching. My soil is fairly compacted and clayey and this didn't seem to bother it at all. It didn't really spread a lot from last year but there is a bigger clump than what I planted. It grows from about 18 to 24 inches in height. The flowers aren't large but they are a very pretty addition, along with the oddly shape leaves, to my garden. It is a very care free plant.


On Jul 17, 2003, christascurls from La Grange, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

This plant grows wild in my garden in south central Texas.Freezes but comes back . Although a beautiful blue color, it vines itself through out and over dropping seeds everywhere. I would not mind it if it did not form claw like tubers that are almost impossible to remove and almost invaribly in the middle of another flower. Because its claw like tuber is so hard to remove,you almost have to damage the other plant to remove it. If I soak the soil, I may be able to pull the whole thing out. It usually just breaks off. Even at a very young stage, they form a tuber. Thrives with little water and stays more clump like. With water it becomes a nuisance.


On Jul 11, 2003, MizD from Lufkin, TX wrote:

These dainty blue flowers are a welcome sight in Summer here in East Texas, growing wild in "poor" soil. When my children were small they called them 'Yosemite Sams', after the old cartoon character with the big cowboy hat and mustache. They re-seed and are not too invasive adding a bright touch as underplanting in some areas.


On Jul 10, 2003, SunshineSue from Mississauga, ON (Zone 6a) wrote:

I have this growing for the first time this year in my Southern Ontario zone 6a/6b garden. The nursery tag that came with it ( States that it is hardy from zones 4-9. It also states a height of 20", full sun to partial shade, bloom time June to September.
So far I am very pleased with the plant. It has grass-like foliage & the flowers are blue/lilac. It has indeed been blooming since early June on & off & is a pretty addition more towards the front of my flower bed. While the flowers aren't huge, they are about the size of a quarter & that's fine with me. I'm hoping that it reseeds itself easily & over-winters successfully in my garden as the plant tag promises.