ivy-leaf morningglory (Ipomoea hederacea)
Ipomoea barbigera Sweet
Ipomoea desertorum House
Ipomoea hederacea Jacq. var. integriuscula A. Gray
Ipomoea hirsutula auct. non Jacq. f.
Ipomoea nil auct. non (L.) Roth
Pharbitis barbigera (Sweet) G. Don
Pharbitis hederacea (Jacq.) Chois
CONFIRMATION STATUS: Pending confirmation.
TAXONOMY: The currently accepted scientific name for ivy-leaf
morningglory is Ipomoea hederacea Jacq.
NATIVE STATUS: Introduced, United States and Canada.
GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS: This introduced
annual vine is up to 6' long, branching occasionally. The round stems are
light green to dull red, and more or less covered with white hair. They
twine about surrounding vegetation, or sprawl about haphazardly. The
alternate leaves are up to 4" long and across. They are deeply 3-lobed and
indented at the base. Each lobe is widest in the middle and tapers to a
blunt tip. The margins of the leaves are smooth and somewhat undulating,
while the upper surface is more or less hairy. The petioles are hairy and
almost as long as the leaves. The flowering stalks develop from the axils
of the leaves and are quite short (¼" or less), producing 1-3 flowers. The
flowers are funnelform and about 2" across. They can be various shades
of blue or purplish pink, and bloom primarily during the mornings on sun-
ny days. The throat of the corolla is white, where the reproductive organs
of the flower form a white column with a knobby tip. The hairy green calyx
is divided into 5 lobes that are linear-lanceolate and about ¾" long. These
lobes often curl outward at their tips. Each flower is replaced by a 3-celled
capsule containing 4-6 seeds. The rather large seeds are brown to black
and wedge-shaped. They have a dull surface. The root system consists of
REGENERATION PROCESS: Ivy-leaf morningglory propogates itself
SITE CHARACTERISTICS: Ivy-leaf morningglory prefers full or
partial sun, mesic conditions, and fertile soil. The seeds don't germinate
until the soil becomes warm during early summer. This plant can be
aggressive. Habitats include fields, abandoned fields, areas along road-
sides and railroads, gardens, and miscellaneous waste areas.
SUCCESSIONAL STATUS: Successional aspects for ivy-leaf morning-
glory are not relevant. So far this plant hasn't invaded native habitats to
any significant degree, but it is quite common in disturbed areas, especial-
ly cultivated fields, where it can be a major pest. It does best in the early
successional stages in waste and cultivated areas; it will continue to thrive
if continued disturbances prevent normal successional development.
SEASONAL DEVELOPMENT: Ivy-leaf morningglory flowers from
June to October.
GENERAL DISTRIBUTION: This plant was introduced from South
America as an ornamental plant, and it is probably still spreading through-
out much of the north eastern, mid-Atlantic, mid-western, southeast, and
southwest parts of the United States. It is generally absent from the west-
ern portions of the Great Plains, Rocky Mountain states, and the far west-
ern and northwester Pacific states.
SKY MEADOWS DISTRIBUTION:
Vine specimens can be found on trails marked in red.
Appalachian Trail/Old Trail
South Ridge/North Ridge
Rolling Meadows/ Lost Mountain
The specific distribution of ivy-leaf morningglory has not been determined.
HABITAT TYPES AND PLANT COMMUNITIES: Ivy-leaf morning-
glory is typically found in non-natural disturbed areas, cultivated and aban-
doned fields, and waste places. It is not a significant factor in native habitats
and is associated with other early successional invasive plants.
IMPORTANCE AND USES: The flowers are pollinated by bumblebees
and other long-tongued bees. Some oligolectic visitors of flowers in the
Morningglory family include Melitoma taurea (mallow bees), Peponapis
pruinosa pruinosa (squash & gourd bee), and Cemolobus ipomoeae (morn-
ingglory bee). Various tortoise beetles feed on the foliage, including Chely-
morpha cassidea (argus tortoise beetle) and Charidiotella bicolor (tortoise
beetle sp.), as do the caterpillars of some moths, including Emmelina mono-
dactyla (common plume moth). The large seeds are rarely eaten by birds,
although the ring-necked pheasant and bobwhite quail utilize them as a food
source to a limited extent. Similarly, the foliage is rarely eaten by mam-
Crooked Run Valley