Ipomoea batatas - (Linnaeus) Lamarck
Convol (Morning Glory) Family
Plant is a deep purple vine, or other contrasting colors that grows in soil or container. The plant is commonly referred to as Sweet Potato Vine; a tender perennial and a greenery favorite, producing a variety of boldly colored foliage, ranging from green, variegated and deepest, darkest purple, nearing black. Its colors will come to life through early Spring, Summer and Fall, right up until the first frost, desired most for its vivid foliage, rapid vigorous growth, heat tolerance, and trailing/vining growth habit for landscape, beds, baskets and containers. The plant was introduced in this country from Polynasia, where it is used primarily as a food source.
The leaves are 5-lobed, ovate-cordate, borne on long stalks, palmately veined, angular or lobed, depending on variety; green or purplish.
Flowers are rarely produced, especially in the United States. If a flower does occur it is like the common morning glory, borne in white or pale violet in the leaf axil; funnel-shaped; singly or in cymes on short peduncles. Flowers occur from late summer to early fall.
Fruit is a round pod containing 1-4 seeds per pod; flattened, hard-coated and angular.
The plant is great for early Spring through Fall and Winter in mild climates with vibrant colors to brighten up any container or landscape. They mound to about 6-12, then spread by vine and climb nearly as far as you will let them! Plant is a tuberous-rooted perennial, usually grown as an annual; top herbaceous, drying back to ground each year; stems forming a running vine up to 12 feet long, usually prostrate and slender, with milky juice. The lateral stem-branches arise from the short stem and usually are not branched.