Ipomoea indica (Burman f.) Merrill
Convolvulaceae (Morning Glory) Family
Photo courtesy Mike Carter, Pensacola, Florida 10/26/2010
Oceanblue Morning Glory is an introduced twining vine. It is pan-tropical in distribution and its native range is uncertain but is believed to be the West Indies. In the Escambia region its preferred habitat is on fence rows, shrubs, roadsides and in disturbed places. The vines are commonly 25 to 30 feet in length, and root at the nodes when in contact with soil.
The leaves are alternate on the stem, stalked, and cordate (heart-shaped) to three-lobed in outline; downy on both upper and lower surface.
The flowers are bell shaped with 5 long sepals and are produced in axillary cymes of 2 to 5 flowers. The corolla is dark blue becoming purplish with age. The flowers open at night and usually wither by noon on hot days. On cool days, they may last the entire day. The flower stalks are hairy with reflexed hairs and the sepals also bear slender hairs.
The fruit is a capsule with 4 to 6 black seeds.
This perennial morning glory is available from many nurseries. It is a vigorous climber and requires a trellis. Plants prefer full sun and average soil. Plants can be rooted from stem cuttings. This morning glory was selected for the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit in 1993. When used as a domestic decorative vine caution should be used as it is listed as a noxious weed or invasive species and has a tendency to spread rapidly.