Ipomoea hederacea Jacq. - Blue Morning Glory

Ipomoea hederacea plant

Family - Convolvulaceae

Stems - Vining, twining, herbaceous, to many meters long, with a combination of long and short pubescence (the hairs mostly retrorse, the longest with pustulose bases), mostly terete.

Ipomoea hederacea stem

Leaves - Alternate, petiolate. Petioles to +12cm long, pubescent as the stem, with a shallow adaxial groove. Blades typically 3-lobed but simple also, pubescent above and below, to 15cm broad and long. Lobes typically acuminate and entire.

Ipomoea hederacea leaf

Ipomoea hederacea leaf

Ipomoea hederacea leafLeaf pubescence.

Inflorescence - Axillary pedunculate clusters(cymes) of typically 3 flowers. Peduncles to 6cm long, pubescent as the stem, often purple at the base. Pedicels short, 3-5mm long, retrorse pubescent (the hairs short). Each division of the inflorescence subtended by opposite linear-attenuate bracts. Bracts to -3cm long, 2-3mm broad, spreading pubescent, reduced upwards.

Flowers - Corolla blue, funnelform, to +3.5cm long, 5cm broad, glabrous internally and externally. Stamens 5, included, adnate near the base of the corolla tube. Filaments white, to 1.5cm long, mostly glabrous but with distinct thickened hairs at the base. Anthers white, 2mm long, 1.5mm broad. Ovary superior, white, glabrous, subtended by white nectariferous ring, 1.5mm in diameter, conic, 3-locular. Placentation axile. Seeds 6. Style white, glabrous, included, 1.6cm long. Stigma biglobose, 2mm in diameter. Sepals 5, long-aristate, expanded at base for 6-7mm, 2.5cm long in flower, longer in fruit, glabrous internally. Basal portion with dense long spreading hairs. Arista short pubescent.

Ipomoea hederacea flower

Ipomoea hederacea calyxCalyx in flower.

Ipomoea hederacea calyxCalyx in fruit.

Flowering - June - October.

Habitat - Waste ground, disturbed sites, thickets, roadsides, railroads.

Origin - Native to Central and South America.

Other info. - This is an attractive vine but it can be tough to get rid of once established. This species frequently occurs in flower beds and cultivated areas. The flowers only last one day before wilting. Because this species is found throughout the world there is some confusion about it's origin. Most tend to agree the plant is from the American tropics.
The typical variety found is variety hederacea, which has three-lobed leaves. Variety integriuscula Gray, has leaves which are entire. This plant is less common than the former.

Photographs taken in Brown Summit, NC., 9-8-02.


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