Cowvine

Ipomoea lonchophylla J.Black

Family: Convolvulaceae

Names:

Ipomoea is from the Greek ips or ipos a worm that eats horn and wood and probably refers to the long slender stems.
Cowvine

Summary:

Annual creeper.

Description:

Cotyledons:

Two.

Leaves:

Alternate.
Stipules -
Petiole - 10-60 mm long.
Blade - Narrow lance shaped, 30-100 mm long with a pointed tip and entire margins. Initially they are rough to touch with short hairs, but soon become smooth with rough bristles on the edges. Prominent veins.

Stems:

Up to 800 mm long and 200 mm high. Not twining. Rough to touch with short hairs.

Flower head:

Single or rarely 2 flowered, in leaf axils, on a short 1 mm stalk with 2 small bracts near the middle.

Flowers:

On 2-4 mm stalks. Trumpet shaped.
Ovary -
Sepals - 10 mm long. 5 egg shaped lobes with long pointed tips. Hairless apart from an obvious fringe of hairs.
Petals - White. 9 mm long. Narrow, shorter than sepals. Hairy at the tips of the lobes.
Stamens -
Anthers -

Fruit:

Globular, hairless capsule. About 10 mm long with 3-4 seeds.

Seeds:

Furry. 6 mm long.

Roots:

Key Characters:

Annual creeper.
Spear shaped alternate leaves.
Trumpet shaped white flowers.

Biology:

Life cycle:

Morphology:

Physiology:

Reproduction:

Flowering times:

Summer to autumn.

Seed Biology and Germination:

Vegetative Propagules:

Hybrids:

Population Dynamics and Dispersal:

Dense infestations occur after floods or heavy summer rains.

Origin and History:

Australian native plant.

Distribution:

ACT, NSW, NT, QLD, SA, WA.

Courtesy Australia's Virtual Herbarium.

Habitats:

Climate:

Soil:

Clay soil flood plains.

Plant Associations:

Black box, Coolibah and Mitchell grass.

Significance:

Beneficial:

Fodder.

Detrimental:

Weed.

Toxicity:

Not reported to be toxic, but closely related plants are toxic.

Legislation:

The Wildlife Conservation Act prohibits removal of native plants from the wild in their native range on government land.

Management and Control:

Thresholds:

Eradication strategies:

Herbicide resistance:

Biological Control:

Related plants:

Bellvine, (I. plebeia)
Coast Morning Glory or Mile-a-minute (I. cairica)
Common Morning Glory (I. purpurea)
Cupid's flower (I. quamoclit) has finely divided feathery leaves and red/yellow flowers.
Moonflower (I. alba)
Poison Morning Glory (I. muelleri)
Purple Morning Glory (I. indica)
Silky Cowvine (I. polymorpha) has a covering of longer hairs, the leaves are shorter and often toothed or lobed, the sepals are hairy and the bracts on the flower stalk are attached higher just below the sepals.
Sweet Potato (I. batatas)
Velvet Morning Glory (I. velutina)
Wild Potato (I. calobra)
(I. abrupta)
(I. graminea)
(I. pes-caprae)
(I. pes-tigridis) is a serious tropical weed with white flowers, deeply lobed leaves and densely hairy stems.
(I. polpha)
(I. tribola) is a serious weed in tropical Australia and has small, pink-purple flowers on long stalks and three-lobed leaves.

Plants of similar appearance:

References:

Black, J.M. (1965). Flora of South Australia. (Government Printer, Adelaide, South Australia). P702. Diagram.

Cunningham, G.M., Mulham, W.E., Milthorpe, P.L. and Leigh, J.H. (1992). Plants of Western New South Wales. (Inkata Press, Melbourne). P558. Photo.

Lazarides, M. and Hince, B. (1993). CSIRO handbook of economic plants of Australia. (CSIRO, Melbourne). #682.8.

Acknowledgments:

Collated by HerbiGuide. Phone 08 98444064 or www.herbiguide.com.au for more information.