Ipomoea sp.


The genus Ipomoea (morning glory) includes herbaceous native and introduced annual or perennial species in the Convolvulaceae. Will be focusing on the annual species today. The plants are vines that climb by twining, and the leaves are alternate with palmate major veins and simple but appear to be compound in some species. The inflorescence is axillary and a solitary flower or a cyme with two to five flowers. The perfect and regular flowers have five sepals, five petals (with the corolla campanulate to funnelform or salverform), and five epipetalous stamens. The ovary is superior, and the fruit is a two- to four-valved capsule with two to six seeds. In Louisiana, there are several annual introduced species including Ipomoea cordatotriloba, indica, lacunosa, nil, purpurea, and turbinata. There is a native perennial species (Ipomoea pandurata) in sandy soils in the state and two native coastal species (imperatii and pes-capre) and a native marsh to wet prairie one sagittata. These non-native annuals have campanulate to funnelform corollas that come in many colors but especially blue. But the color seems to only last for the first year and as these plants escape and become weeds in fields and roadsides, the color seems to change to a standard fuchsia color. These are often very noticeable along roadsides. We purchase seeds and grow collections of these each year on tendril tepees with string for the plants to grow up. I see lots of moth usage of these just before daylight and some butterflys after daylight. The caterpillars of several species of moths are reported to use these annual species.