Commelina benghalensis (wandering jew)
- Taxonomic Tree
- Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature
- Distribution Table
- Habitat List
- Hosts/Species Affected
- Host Plants and Other Plants Affected
- Growth Stages
- Biology and Ecology
- Natural enemies
- Notes on Natural Enemies
- Uses List
- Similarities to Other Species/Conditions
- Prevention and Control
- Distribution Maps
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PicturesTop of page
IdentityTop of page
Preferred Scientific Name
- Commelina benghalensis L. (1753)
Preferred Common Name
- wandering jew
Other Scientific Names
- Commelina prostrata Regel
International Common Names
- English: benghal dayflower; tropical spiderwort
- French: herbe aux cochons
Local Common Names
- Bangladesh: kanaibashi
- Germany: Commeline, Bengalische
- India: kanasiri; kanchara; kankaua; kena; konasimalu; krishnaghas; mankawa
- Indonesia: gewor
- Japan: tsuyukusa
- Myanmar: myet-cho
- Philippines: alikbangon; bias-bias; kuhasi; kulkulasi; sabilau
- Taiwan: ju-ye-tsai
- Zimbabwe: chidyahumba; gezi; goche; idabane
- COMBE (Commelina benghalensis)
Taxonomic TreeTop of page
- Domain: Eukaryota
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Phylum: Spermatophyta
- Subphylum: Angiospermae
- Class: Monocotyledonae
- Order: Commelinales
- Family: Commelinaceae
- Genus: Commelina
- Species: Commelina benghalensis
Notes on Taxonomy and NomenclatureTop of page
DescriptionTop of page
DistributionTop of page
Distribution TableTop of page
The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.Last updated: 27 May 2021
|Continent/Country/Region||Distribution||Last Reported||Origin||First Reported||Invasive||Reference||Notes|
|Cameroon||Present||Original citation: Brenan, 1968|
|Congo, Democratic Republic of the||Present||Original citation: Brenan, 1968|
|Côte d'Ivoire||Present, Localized|
|Ethiopia||Present||Original citation: Terry & Michieka, 1984|
|Rwanda||Present||Original citation: Terry & Michieka, 1984|
|Sierra Leone||Present||Original citation: Brenan, 1968|
|Somalia||Present||Original citation: Terry & Michieka, 1984|
|South Africa||Present, Localized|
|Togo||Present||Original citation: Brenan, 1968|
|Sri Lanka||Present, Localized|
|Barbados||Present||Original citation: Adams et al., 1968|
|Jamaica||Present||Original citation: Adams et al., 1968|
|Saint Kitts and Nevis||Present, Localized|
|United States||Present, Localized|
|Papua New Guinea||Present|
HabitatTop of page
Habitat ListTop of page
Hosts/Species AffectedTop of page
See Awatigeri (1975) for further details on bitter gourds and Madri and Manimtim (1978) for further details of mung beans as hosts of C. benghalensis.
Host Plants and Other Plants AffectedTop of page
Growth StagesTop of page
Biology and EcologyTop of page
One C. benghalensis plant can produce about 1600 seeds (Pancho, 1964). Freshly shed aerial seeds have a dormancy depending on an impermeable seedcoat, but will germinate following scarification or pricking of the seed. Aerial seeds germinate mainly from the upper 5 cm, while the larger subterranean seeds may emerge from depths down to 14 cm (Budd et al., 1979). These authors found that a majority of seedlings in the field in Zimbabwe derived from subterranean seeds. However, Walker and Evenson (1985a, b) concluded that the aerial seeds were the more important in Queensland, Australia. They also distinguished large and small classes of seed within the aerial and subterranean, and showed each of the four classes to have characterisitc germination behaviour. Subterranean seeds had a more pronounced light requirement for germination and a higher optimum germination temperature (28 v. 24°C). They comment on the long persistence of the seeds due to dormancy and the corresponding difficulty of control. Fertilizer application reduced seed production and resulted in stunted growth when grown under artificial dense competition in cereals in Russia (Shcherbakova, 1974).
The rate of stem elongation, branch and leaf formation increases as the node number on the stem increases (Chivinge and Kawisi, 1989). Broken stems may persist on the soil surface for several weeks or months in low moisture conditions and easily form leaves 10-14 days after moisture becomes available. Though stem cuttings on the surface regenerate easily (Chivinge and Kawisi, 1989), cuttings buried deeper than 2 cm fail to regenerate (Budd et al., 1979).
The weed is used as fodder for pigs and rabbits in Zimbabwe.
Crops are affected most severely during the first 2-5 weeks of crop growth, but mature plants can also be affected.
Natural enemiesTop of page
Notes on Natural EnemiesTop of page
The fungus Kordyana celebensis has been recorded from C. diffusa as well as C. benghalensis.
Commelina is an alternative host of the root-knot nematode Meloidogyne incognita (Valdez, 1968), of the reniform nematode Rotylenchulus spp. (Edmunds, 1971), groundnut rosette virus [groundnut rosette assistor luteovirus] (Valdez, 1968) and of groundnut mosaic virus [groundnut rosette umbravirus] (Adams, 1967). In the Dharwar district of India the weed is a host of Cuscuta chinensis (Awatigeri et al., 1975) and an alternative host of Corticium sasakii [Thanatephorus sasakii], a leaf blight of rice (Roy, 1973).
ImpactTop of page
Its effects on crop growth and yield varies with each crop and with environmental conditions. Groundnut flower production may be delayed by 1-2 weeks and nodules are also reduced depending on the intensity of infestation.
Removal of C. benghalensis in India increased groundnut yield by 27% (Mehrotra and Singh, 1973). The price of rice was reduced in Texas when the C. benghalensis seed contamination was 20 seed/kg rice (Palmer, 1972).
The plant is used for medicinal purposes by many African tribes for treating sore throats, eyes and burns. In India and the Philippines the weed is used for food during famine periods.
Uses ListTop of page
Similarities to Other Species/ConditionsTop of page
Prevention and ControlTop of page
Due to the variable regulations around (de)registration of pesticides, your national list of registered pesticides or relevant authority should be consulted to determine which products are legally allowed for use in your country when considering chemical control. Pesticides should always be used in a lawful manner, consistent with the product's label.Introduction
The method of control depends on the crop infested, land size, level of technology available, value of the crop, labour availability and costs, availability of draft power and the associated equipment and availability of herbicides. The methods currently used include proper land preparation, hand hoeing and pulling, removing the plants from the fields and drying, use of ox-drawn and tractor-drawn cultivation, slashing and herbicide application. However, mechanical control and hand hoeing and pulling are not very effective as the cut stems quickly regenerate into new plants, especially in wet conditions (Chivinge and Kawisis, 1989). When plants are removed they should be shaken to remove all the soil, spread and left to dry for more than a week. Walker and Evenson (1985a) emphasize the importance of growing crops which will smother the weed as quickly as possible. Le Bourgeois and Marnotte (1997) emphasise the need to control the weed when young but also list some new herbicides under test in maize.
In the review by Wilson (1981) it is noted that C. benghalensis is relatively difficult to control by herbicide, especially when well established. However, young plants in cereal crops are susceptible to 2,4-D and related herbicides. Bentazon is useful in both cereals and in some broad-leaved crops such as soyabean. Among pre-emergence treatments, metribuzin is especially effective, e.g. in sugarcane and soyabeans while substituted urea, triazine, acetanilide and dinitroaniline treatments, alone or in combinations, give variable results. In plantation crops and non-crop situations, paraquat is relatively ineffective but glyphosate is effective on younger plants, especially with the addition of surfactant or other additives such as 2,4-D or ammonium sulphate.
There have not been any attempts to use biological control against Commelina spp. and the possibilities have not been explored. However, Waterhouse (1994) notes that although Commelina spp. are believed to be of Old World origin, it is curious that there are no records of agromyzid leaf miners, except from the Americas, and therefore tropical and subtropical areas of the Americas may be promising sources of candidate biological control agents.
ReferencesTop of page
Adams A, 1967. The vectors and alternate hosts of groundnuts resette virus in Central Province, Malawi. Rhodesian, Zambian, Malawian Journal of Agricultural Research, 5(2):145-151.
Adams CD, 1963. Compositae. In: Hutchinson J, Dalziel JM, Hepper FN, eds. Flora of West Tropical Africa, Volume 2, Second edition. London, UK: Crown Agents.
Banda AK; Morris B, 1985. Common Weeds of Malawi. Lilangwe, Malawi: University of Malawi.
Chivinge OA, 1988. A weed survey of arable lands of the small-scale farming sector of Zimbabwe.
Ciba Geigy, 1982. Moroco Weed 3. Basel, Switzerland: Ciba Geigy Ltd.
Drummond RB, 1984. Arable weeds of Zimbabwe. A guide to the recognition of more important arable weeds of crops. Harare, Zimbabwe: Agricultural Research Trust.
Edmunds JE, 1971. Association of Rotylenchulus reniformis with `Robusta' banana and Commelina sp. roots in the Windward Islands. Tropical Agriculture Trinidad, 48(1):55-61.
EPPO, 2014. PQR database. Paris, France: European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization. http://www.eppo.int/DATABASES/pqr/pqr.htm
Ivens GW, 1964. East African Weeds and their Control. Oxford University Press, Nairobi, Kenya.
Le Bourgeois T; Marnotte P, 1997. Commelina benghalensis. Agriculture et Developpement Special Issue - May, 1997:64-65.
Lorenzi H, 1982. Weeds of Brazil, terrestrial and aquatic, parasitic, poisonous and medicinal. (Plantas daninhas de Brasil, terrestres, aquaticas, parasitas, toxicas e medicinais.) Nova Odessa, Brazil: H. Lorenzi, 425 pp.
Palmer RD, 1972. Dayflower and spangle top survey in the Texas rice belt. In: Proceedings of the 25th Annual Meeting of the Southern Weed Science Society, 473-477.
Pancho J, 1964. Seed size and production capabilities of common weed species in rice fields of Philippines. Philippines Agriculturalist, 48:307-316.
Roy AK, 1973. Natural occurrence of Corticium sesakii on some weeds. Current Science, 43(3):842-433.
Tutin TG, 1976. Galinsoga Ruiz & Pavon. In: Flora Europeae, Volume 4. (Ed. by Tutin TG, Haywood VH, Burges NA, Moore DM, Valentine DH, Walters SM & Webb DA, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.
USDA, 1970. Selected Weeds of the United States. Agriculture Handbook No. 366. Washington DC, USA: United States Department of Agriculture, 324-325.
Valdez R, 1968. Survey, identification and host-parasite relationships of root-knot nematodes occurring in some parts of the Phillippines. Phillippine Agriculturist, 51:802-824.
Waterhouse DF, 1993. The Major Arthropod Pests and Weeds of Agriculture in Southeast Asia. ACIAR Monograph No. 21. Canberra, Australia: Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, 141 pp.
Wetala MPE, 1978. The relationship between weeds and soyabean yields. In: Proceedings of the 6th East African Weed Science Conference (1976), 156-168.
Banda AK, Morris B, 1985. Common Weeds of Malawi., Lilangwe, Malawi: University of Malawi.
CABI, Undated. Compendium record. Wallingford, UK: CABI
CABI, Undated a. CABI Compendium: Status as determined by CABI editor. Wallingford, UK: CABI
Ciba Geigy, 1982. Moroco Weed 3., Basel, Switzerland: Ciba Geigy Ltd.
Dangwal L R, Antima Sharma, Amandeep Singh, Rana C S, Tajinder Singh, 2011. Weed flora of S.R.T. Campus Badshahi Thaul Tehri Garhwal (H.N.B. Garhwal Central University, Uttarakhand), India. Pakistan Journal of Weed Science Research. 17 (4), 387-396. http://www.wssp.org.pk/174-10.pdf
Devi M R, Madhavan S, Baskaran A, Thangaratham T, 2015. Ethno medicinal aspects of weeds from paddy field in Thiruvarur district, Tamil Nadu, India. World Journal of Pharmaceutical Research. 4 (11), 1909-1920. http://www.wjpr.net/dashboard/abstract_id/4153
Drummond RB, 1984. Arable weeds of Zimbabwe. A guide to the recognition of more important arable weeds of crops., Harare, Zimbabwe: Agricultural Research Trust.
Duary B, Mukherjee A, 2013. Distribution pattern of predominant weeds in wet season and their management in West Bengal, India. In: The role of weed science in supporting food security by 2020. Proceedings of the 24th Asian-Pacific Weed Science Society Conference, Bandung, Indonesia, October 22-25, 2013 [The role of weed science in supporting food security by 2020. Proceedings of the 24th Asian-Pacific Weed Science Society Conference, Bandung, Indonesia, October 22-25, 2013.], [ed. by Bakar B H, Kurniadie D, Tjitrosoedirdjo S]. Bandung, Indonesia: Weed Science Society of Indonesia. 191-199.
Ferrell J A, MacDonald G E, Devkota P, 2004. Benghal Dayflower/Tropical Spiderwort (Commelina benghalensis L.) Identification and Control1., USA: University of Florida IFAS Extension. 1-3. https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/AG/AG23000.pdf
Gabuin T G, Abdul S D, Sawa F B, 2014. Preliminary observations on weeds of maize (Zea mays L.) and rice (Oryza sativa L.) fields in Bauchi. Journal of Agricultural and Biological Science. 9 (11), 385-388. http://www.arpnjournals.com/jabs/research_papers/rp_2014/jabs_1114_690.pdf
Gobatto D, Oliveira L A de, Franco D A de S, Velásquez N, Daròs J A, Eiras M, 2019. Surveys in the chrysanthemum production areas of Brazil and Colombia reveal that weeds are potential reservoirs of chrysanthemum stunt viroid. Viruses. 11 (4), 355. DOI:10.3390/v11040355
Kiran G G R, Rao A S, 2013. Survey of weed flora in transplanted rice in Krishna agroclimatic zone of Andhra Pradesh, India. Pakistan Journal of Weed Science Research. 19 (1), 45-51. http://www.wssp.org.pk/4-19-1-45-51.pdf
Macharia I, Backhouse D, Wu S B, Ateka E M, 2016. Weed species in tomato production and their role as alternate hosts of Tomato spotted wilt virus and its vector Frankliniella occidentalis. Annals of Applied Biology. 169 (2), 224-235. DOI:10.1111/aab.12297
Malgwi M A, Onu I, 2013. Alternate host plants, hibernation sites and survival strategy of Cylas puncticollis Boh.: a new pest of cotton. Journal of Biology, Agriculture and Healthcare. 3 (2), 9-22. http://www.iiste.org/Journals/index.php/JBAH/article/view/4293/4361
Nunes M A, Bergamini M P, Coerini L F, Bastianel M, Novelli V M, Kitajima E W, Freitas-Astúa J, 2012. Citrus leprosis virus C naturally infecting Commelina benghalensis, a prevalent monocot weed of citrus orchards in Brazil. Plant Disease. 96 (5), 770. DOI:10.1094/PDIS-11-11-0925-PDN
Tuo K F A, Orega Y B, Kouame K B J, Abo K, Agneroh T A, 2013. Characterization of weed flora in rubber trees plantations of bongo (Côte d'ivoire). Journal of Applied Biosciences. 5544-5554. http://m.elewa.org/JABS/2013/70/3.pdf
Webster T M, Burton M G, Culpepper A S, Flanders J T, Grey T L, York A C, 2006. Tropical spiderwort (Commelina benghalensis L.) control and emergence patterns in preemergence herbicide systems. Journal of Cotton Science. 10 (1), 68-75. http://www.cotton.org/journal/2006-10/1/upload/jcs10-068.pdf
Yahaya A, Dangora D B, Khan A U, Zangoma M A, 2014. Detection of Sugarcane Mosaic Disease (SCMD) in crops and weeds associated with sugarcane fields in Makarfiand Sabon Gari Local Government Areas of Kaduna State, Nigeria. International Journal of Current Science. 99-104. http://www.currentsciencejournal.info/issuespdf/weeds%20and%20pests%2014.pdf
Zeeshan Ahmad, Khan S M, Shahab Ali, Inayat-ur-Rahman, Hussan Ara, Iram Noreen, Ayesha Khan, 2016. Indicator species analyses of weed communities of maize crop in District Mardan, Pakistan. Pakistan Journal of Weed Science Research. 22 (2), 227-238. http://www.wssp.org.pk/SearchViaList/85f2b9507de3d718f94122555958c33a/8229716c1c1ad23b1ea10452ba59f128
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