Commelina was named to honour Jan Commelin (1629-1692) and Caspar Commelin (1667-1731) Dutch botanists. Chiefly herbs, maybe somewhat succulent with mucilaginous sap, leaves are alternate and simple, base often sheaths the stem. Flowers 3-merous with distinct calyx and corolla, maybe regular or irregular, sometimes subtended by a spathe. Staminodes often present. Fruit usually a capsule.