Cyanotis somaliensis


Family Commelinaceae.
The Plant List recognises 52 species.
Some are also seen under the genus names of Tradescantia and Commelina.

Evergreen, perennial, fleshy to succulent plants.
Erect stems are 15 to 40 cm high and the prostrate creeping stems root at the nodes.

Leaves have no stalks and the bases can sheath the stem for a few mms.
They are triangular or lance-like, glossy or dull green, sometimes with purplish blushes.
They are hairy to various extents – slight to so dense they look silvery.

One or a few flowers, without stalks, grow in the upper leaf axils.
There are bracts around the flowers.
The 3 hairy sepals are up to 10 mm long.
The 3 ovate petals, about 10 mm long, are blue, purple or intermediate shades.

The large, stamens are the most prominent part with dense purplish hairs on the filaments.
The bright yellow anthers stand out against the filaments.
The fruit are capsules.

Species include:

Cyanotis axillaris, known as Creeping Cradle Plant or Blue Ears is native to Northern Australia.
The leaves are smooth with only a few hairs at the base.

Cyanotis somaliensis. Known as Furry Kittens or Pussy Ears.
It has closely spaced leaves with hairs underneath and around the margin.

Tradescantia sillamontana’s dull green leaves look silvery due to the dense hairs.