Commelina erecta
Slender dayflower
Image of Commelina erecta

Photo by Kitty Kohout 

Key Characteristics

Tall perennial forb (up to 1 m) of dry sandy soil; leaves lanceolate with prominent auricles at summit of sheaths; flowers with 3 small, white petals.

Status and Rank

  • State Status: X
  • State Rank: SX
  • Global Rank: G5


County NameNumber of OccurrencesYear Last Observed
Distribution map for Commelina erecta

Updated 5/15/2018. Information is summarized from MNFI's database of rare species and community occurrences. Data may not reflect true distribution since much of the state has not been thoroughly surveyed.


Known from dry, sandy soil, dry woods and rocky outcrops. An 1838 collection was from the "banks of a small lake"; this species was also found in a sandy area of a former oak woodland and dry savanna.

Natural Community Types


For each species, lists of natural communities were derived from review of the nearly 6,500 element occurrences in the MNFI database, in addition to herbarium label data for some taxa. In most cases, at least one specimen record exists for each listed natural community. For certain taxa, especially poorly collected or extirpated species of prairie and savanna habitats, natural community lists were derived from inferences from collection sites and habitat preferences in immediately adjacent states (particularly Indiana and Illinois). Natural communities are not listed for those species documented only from altered or ruderal habitats in Michigan, especially for taxa that occur in a variety of habitats outside of the state.

Natural communities are not listed in order of frequency of occurrence, but are rather derived from the full set of natural communities, organized by Ecological Group. In many cases, the general habitat descriptions should provide greater clarity and direction to the surveyor. In future versions of the Rare Species Explorer, we hope to incorporate natural community fidelity ranks for each taxon.

Associated Plants

Virtually no collection data are known for Michigan. In the Chicago region, this species occurs with such plants as sand milkweed, sedge (Carex muhlenbergii), stiff coreopsis, flowering spurge, western sunflower, prickly-pear cactus, and goat's rue.


Known habitat elsewhere suggests that this species may require natural disturbance, such as fire, that maintains oak savanna communities. A status survey is needed.

General Survey Guidelines

Random meander search covers areas that appear likely to have rare taxa, based on habitat and the judgement of the investigator.

Survey Methods

Page Citation

Michigan Natural Features Inventory. 2007. Rare Species Explorer (Web Application). Available online at [Accessed Sep 25, 2018]


Survey References

Technical References

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