Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Family Profile
Family Description

A family of about 50 genera and 1000 species mainly in the tropics and subtropics of both hemisperes; seven genera occur naturally in Australia.


Aneilema - A genus of about 100 species from subtropical and tropical regions of the world, but mostly in the Old World; three species occur naturally in Australia.

Commelina - A cosmopolitan genus of about 170 species; 12 species occur naturally in Australia with 2 species that became naturalised.

Cyanotis - A genus of about 50 species from tropical and subtropical Africa and Asia to N Australia; one species occurs naturally in Australia.

Floscopa - A genus of about 20 species, pantropical; possibly two species grow naturally in Australia.

Pollia - A genus of about 26 species, pantropic; two species occur naturally in Australia.

Tradescantia - About 70 species: mainly in tropical America; at least two species naturalised in Australia.


Smith, A.C. (1979). Commelinaceae. Flora Vitiensis Nova 1: 277-283.

Stanley, T.D. & Ross, E.M. (1989). Commelinaceae. In 'Flora of south-eastern Queensland.' 3: 74-79.

Faden, R. B. and D. R. Hunt. (1991). The classification of the Commelinaceae. Taxon 40: 19-31.

Faden, R. B. (1998). Commelinaceae. In: K. Kubitzki et al., eds.The Families and Genera of Vascular Plants. 4: 109-128.

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