Purple Morning Glory

Ipomoea indica (Burman) Merr.

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.
Purple Morning Glory refers to the flower colour and the morning opening of the showy flowers, followed by closing in the afternoon.

Other Names

Blue Morning Glory
Dunny Creeper

Summary:

A rapid growing, finely hairy, climbing perennial vine with purple-blue, bell shaped flowers at most times of the year with a flush from November to April. It has alternate heart shaped leaves that are usually 3-5 lobed.

Description:

Cotyledons:

Two.

Leaves:

Alternate.
Stipules -
Petiole - 10-30 mm long. Hairy.
Blade - Heart shaped. Sometimes 3 to 5 lobed, 50-100 mm x 45-80 mm. Tip pointed. Base notched where petiole joins. Lower surface densely hairy. Upper surface has scattered short soft hairs held close to the surface.

Stems:

Twining. Hairy. Lie down on ground or bend upward.

Flower head:

Dense. Sets of 3-12 flowers on 2-10 mm stalks arising from a 40-60 mm stalk at the end of a branch. More sets of flowers are formed on branches arising below. (An umbellate cyme).

Flowers:

On 2-10 mm stalks. Bell shaped with a flared top. Opening in the morning and closing by mid-afternoon. Bracts parallel sided 10-20 mm long (sometimes broader and leaf like).
Ovary - White. Hairless. Smooth. Style 30 mm long and white. Stigma 1.5-2 mm long and white.
Sepals - Parallel sided. Papery. Tip pointed. 15-25 mm long. Hairy but sometimes hairless or downy.
Petals - Blue or bluish purple turning reddish purple to pink with age. Funnel shaped. 50-80 mm long. Hairless. Pale pink to mauve band in the middle of the petal and down the tube. Tube is white at the base.
Stamens - Included. Filaments white, different lengths, 18-27 mm long, lower 6 mm covered with white curled hairs.
Anthers - White. 4 mm long.

Fruit:

Flattened globular capsule. 10 mm wide.

Seeds:

Black. Hairless.

Roots:

Key Characters:

Finely hairy, climbing perennial vine.
Purple-blue, bell shaped flowers.
Alternate heart shaped leaves that are usually 3-5 lobed.

Biology:

Life cycle:

Perennial.

Physiology:

Reproduction:

Flowering times:

Flowers most of the year with a flush from November to April.

Seed Biology and Germination:

Vegetative Propagules:

Stems form roots where they contact the ground (layering). Stems reshoot if damaged (coppice).

Hybrids:

Allelopathy:

Ecology, Population Dynamics and Dispersal:

Spread in water flows.

Origin and History:

Tropics.

Distribution:

ACT, NSW, QLD, SA, VIC.

Courtesy Australia's Virtual Herbarium.

Habitats:

Disturbed areas usually close to gardens from where they have escaped.

Climate:

Soil:

Plant Associations:

Significance:

Beneficial:

Ornamental and medicinal uses. Leaves reported to be used as pig food. Seeds are strongly purgative.

Detrimental:

Vigorous fast growing weed. Once established it is difficult to control.

Toxicity:

Not recorded as toxic.

Legislation:

None.

Management and Control:

Application of herbicides is the best method of control. The leaves are easy to wet, so wetting agents are not usually required with herbicides.

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)
Cowvine (I. lonchophylla)
Cupid's flower (I. quamoclit) has finely divided feathery leaves and red/yellow flowers.
Moonflower (I. alba)
Poison Morning Glory (I. muelleri)
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:

Auld, B.A. and Medd R.W. (1992). Weeds. An illustrated botanical guide to the weeds of Australia. (Inkata Press, Melbourne). P157. Photo.

Cunningham, G.M., Mulham, W.E., Milthorpe, P.L. and Leigh, J.H. (1992). Plants of Western New South Wales. (Inkata Press, Melbourne). P557. Photo.

Lazarides, M. and Hince, B. (1993). CSIRO handbook of economic plants of Australia. (CSIRO, Melbourne). #682.7.

Marchant, N.G., Wheeler, J.R., Rye, B.L., Bennett, E.M., Lander, N.S. and Macfarlane, T.D. (1987). Flora of the Perth Region. (Western Australian Herbarium, Department of Agriculture, Western Australia). P540.

Acknowledgments:

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