Wildflower of the Week by Chick Keller

The beautiful sky blue Birdbill Dayflower (Comelina dianthifolia) stands out this week. Its common name is derived from both the physical characteristics and the time it blooms. Birdbill describes the shape of the envelope out of which the flower emerges. By late afternoon the flower has closed up, making morning and mid-day the best times to see the Birdbill Dayflower. 
The three petals of the Birdbill Dayflower classify it as a monocot, it is related to lilies. All monocot flower parts come in threes and sixes. It is also closely related to spiderwort, which are found in White Rock Canyon by hiking down the Red Dot trail and following the stream a short ways to some sandy flats.
Birdbill Dayflower2 by Chick Keller

Birdbill Dayflower used to bloom in three known places on the Pajarito Plateau, but the drought seems to have eradicated it from two of these places. Luckily, the third place, the junction of Pajarito and Rendija Canyon trails, offers a dazzling display of perhaps a hundred blooms this year. As you plan your outings this week, I recommend a morning hike to witness this lovely display of Birdbill Dayflowers.

Birdbill Dayflower1 by Chick Keller


2 thoughts on “Wildflower of the Week by Chick Keller”

  1. Our hiking group really enjoyed the show in the bottom of the canyon. Have only gotten to know dayflowers in last couple of years. Thanks,

  2. I hope your list of birdbill dayflower sites includes the trail from 48th Street up to the Perimeter trail. The one that runs by the arroyo next to Quemazon. There are three separate large patches of these flowers as you climb up to the Perimeter trail. And as you turn north onto the Perimeter trail, go about 100 yards and there are a few plants trying to establish themselves off to the right.
    Another area of about 50 plants can be found by the memorial bench at the parking lot for the Mitchell trailhead where Arizona turns into 46th Street, all on the north side of the trail.

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