Archive for October 6th, 2011

Asiatic Dayflower – Commelina communis

Asiatic Dayflower
Asiatic Dayflower

This introduced wetland native of east Asia (southern China, Japan, and India) loves moisture, although it does not need to be wet at all times, like standing water and is often invasive in this country.  In northeastern China the Asiatic Dayflower has caused considerable financial lose due to damage that has occurred in orchards. This plant was introduced from Asia as an ornamental, but has now escaped cultivation, and is slowly becoming a problem.

 

The Daylily has a long history of use in China in herbal medicine. The leaves are depurative (purifying), diuretic, and febrifuge. An infusion of the leaves has been used for sore throat and tonsillitis, use it like a gargle. A decoction treats bleeding, diarrhea and fever.

 

The leaves, flowers and shoots can be eaten raw or cooked. Chopped it can be added to salads, or steamed like spinach. The whole plant can be rinsed and used in stir fries, sautéed into egg dishes. In China the entire plant is harvested, dried, and used later for tea. 3 teaspoons added to a cup of water makes a nice cup of tea. The flowers are bland in taste, but slightly sweet.

 

In Japan a dye industry revolves around the 2 blue petals. It makes a nice blue dye that was used for coloring woodblock pics in the 18th and 19th centuries. The only drawback is that if exposed to light the dye color fades to a greenish yellow within a short period (maybe 2 months).

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