Plant Name        Commelina benghalensis L.        

                Common name:

                Marathi:              Keni      

                Hindi:                   Kanchara            

                English:                Garden Commelina, Dayflower

                Jawhar:                Keni      



Identification guide


Commelina benghalensis is a herbaceous perennial plant, with long, creeping, succulent stems that can be 60 - 90cm long; and ascending, jointed branches, rooting where the nodes touch the ground    


Alternate- spirally arranged, simple leaf type, shape ovate, base rounded, apex obtuse, pubescent, margin ciliate, apex with hair


Blue petals, mostly ovate, funnel shaped spathe, 3 numbers of stamen, 2 staminodes and 1 mm long ovary


Ellipsoid capsule with 3 celled bearing around 5 seeds.


Habit / Habitat

 Monocot perinnial herb

Often found in ditches, wet fields and places subjected to flooding alothough not a wetland. It is widely distributed from scrub lands to arable, marshy lands.



  1. benghalensis is native species to tropical and subtropical Asia and Africa. It is widely distributed in countries like India, Bhutan, Nepal, china, Japan and Pakistan. It is a rapidly reproducing plant and considered as a one of the most troublesome weed in 29 different countries.


Edible parts

World wide use                                          Leaves

Used by tribal community in Jawhar        Leaves


Method of consumption

Jawhar tribal     

 Leaves are steamed, cooked in local masala and eaten as a vegetable

Other Recipe    

 Commelina benghalensis sambar

Main Ingredients

  1. Toovar daal
  2. Chopped C. benghalensis
  3. Turmeric powder
  4. Castor oil
  5. 1 tsp ghee
  6. Cumin seeds
  7. Chopped shallots
  8. 1 red chilli
  9. ½ tsp sambar powder


 Boil toovar dhal along with little turmeric powder and a bit of castor oil.

 Heat a tsp of ghee, cumin seeds and add finely cut shallots and 1 red chilli broken.

 Add 1/2 tsp sambar powder and the cut commelina and fry till it wilts.

 Once wilted, add water, salt and boil till fully done.

 Add the cooked daal and add little grated coconut before serving.



Nutritional and medicinal information

Nutritive Significance

The phytochemical screening of C. benghalensis revealed that f phlobatannins, carbohydrates, tannins, glycosides, volatile oils, resins, balsams, flavonoids and saponins, while terpenes, sterols, anthorquinones and phenols were absent. Whereas, the pharmacognostic analysis showed the presence of moisture content of 11.60 %, ash value of 6.24%, water soluble extractive value of 22.45 %, alcohol soluble extractive value of 5.99% and acid insoluble ash of 1.21% .


Pharmaceutical significance

 Literature review:

The analgesic potential of the C.benghalensis was assessed to scientifically validate the folklore and ethnomedical uses of the plant. Thus the study conducted on the different fractions of the aerial parts of the herb showed significant potential as a remedy to eliminate pain and hence justifed the traditional uses.


Propagation and Storage

 Season of collection

 Edible: Monsoon

 How to grow it?

 It usually grows in wild. Although, stem cutting can be the easy means of propagation and broken stems can easily form leaves when moist soil conditions are available.


Method of storage

 Propagules: Cannot be stored

Edibles: Highly perishable hence eaten immediately after harvest.          


Other uses

  1. benghalensis is considered as good fodder for cattle as it is reported to increase the milk production naturally in cows.

The leaves are eaten as vegetable in Africa. With this different components of the herb are used as medicine for sore feet. Sore throat, burns, eye irritation and stomach irritation. Whereas, in southern Africa. C. benghalensis is used to combat infertility.



Kingdom:            Plantae

Division:              Spermatophyta

Sub-division:      Angiospermae

Class:                    Monocotyledonae

Series:                  Coronarieae

Family:                Commelinaceae

Genus:                 Commelina

Species:               benghalensis





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