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Ivyleaf Morning Glory, Entireleaf Morningglory, Small Morning Glory - Ipomoea hederacea


Family: Convolvulaceae - Morning-glory family Genus Common Name: Morning Glory Native Status: IntroducedDicot Annual Herb Vine
Ipomoea hederacea - Ivyleaf Morning Glory, Entireleaf Morningglory, Small Morning Glory.
Ipomoea is a large genus of well over 600 species worldwide, with over 60 in the United States. The Morning Glory name is applied to plants in the genus because these flowers, which can be especially glorious when large numbers are blooming, will close up or wither later in the day as the bright sun shines on them. There is an Ipomoea species found in every state except for Idaho and Alaska (but those two states have the very similar Calystegia or Convolvulus genera present.)

Whether or not Ipomoea hederacea is native to the United States is debated. Recent DNA studies did not resolve the debate, although patterns seem to imply that it has at least partially obtained its current distribution as agricultural activities spread, although some of that might have occurred prior to the beginning of historical botanical records in North America. It was recorded as being in eastern North America in 1805 by Michaux. While most of those who (like me) simply parrot what others are saying indicate that its origin is Central or South America, some authorities say that Ipomoea hederacea might have originated in the southeastern United States. (Since the majority seem to consider it non-native to the U.S., I have it thus listed here.) It is considered weedy in much of its range, covering the entire eastern United States except for Vermont and Rhode Island, and west to North Dakota down to Texas. It is also found in New Mexico, Arizona, and possibly California (The California report may be Ipomoea nil. (BONAP reports it in Vermont, and shows it as native to California.)

Found in:
AL, AR, AZ, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NY, OH, OK, PA, SC, SD, TN, TX, VA, WI, WV
Ipomoea hederacea

Distribution of Ipomoea hederacea in the United States and Canada:
USDA Plants Distribution Map temporarily unavailable.
Blue=Native; Grey=Introduced

Map from USDA Plants Database:
USDA, NRCS. 2017. The PLANTS Database (http://plants.usda.gov, 20 Sep 2017). National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.

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Site: Walker County, GA Date: 2017-August-29Photographer: Gerald C. Williamson
Nikon D7000
Tamron SP 90MM f/2.8 AF Macro
The flowers of Ivyleaf Morning Glory are sky blue, pink, or white; I have seen some photographs of a darker blue as well, but wonder if those might have been Ipomoea nil, which some consider to be synonymous with Ipomoea hederacea.
Ipomoea hederacea

Site: Walker County, GA Date: 2017-August-29Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
The calyx, pedicel, and peduncle of Ivyleaf Morning Glory are covered with spreading hairs. The elongated, narrower tips of the sepals are much longer than the body of the sepal; similar I. purpurea has sepal tips which are shorter than or only slightly longer than the body.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Ipomoea hederacea

Site: Walker County, GA Date: 2017-August-29Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
The vine of Ipomoea hederacea is up to 6 feet long, sometimes longer. The tangling mess can be a significant impact on other plants that it climbs on, giving it the weedy reputation it has in much of its range.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Ipomoea hederacea

Site: Walker County, GA Date: 2017-August-29Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
The leaves are alternate on the vine. While there is some variation in the shape, the 3 lobed ivy-shape of the leaf gives it the common name (the first leaf on the vine may be unlobed.) The base of the leaf is cordate; the surface of the leaf is usually somewhat hairy.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Ipomoea hederacea

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All content except USDA Plants Database map Copyright Gerald C. Williamson 2017
Photographs Copyright owned by the named photographer