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Ipomoea alba is often confused with:
Ipomoea purpurea Ipomoea purpurea vine
Native alternative(s) for Ipomoea alba:
Ipomoea pandurata Ipomoea pandurata on fence
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Clematis virginiana Clematis virginiana
Viola pubescens Form
Viola sororia Viola papilionacea
Ipomoea alba has some other problems:
Frost Damage

Moonflower Ipomoea alba

Other Common Name(s):

Previously known as:

  • Calonyction aculeatum
  • Ipomoea bona-nox
Phonetic Spelling
eye-poh-MEE-ah AL-ba
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Moonflowers is a tender perennial vine  grown as an annual in NC, and gets its name from its nocturnal blooms.  It needs a support structure like a fence, arbor, or trellis to grow.    Has 8 in. heart-shaped leaves and large white flowers that open at night and provide a sweet fragrance.  Plant it in a cottage, patio nighttime garden where you can fully enjoy the beauty and scent of the showy white flowers while you watch the aerial show of bats as they pollinate the blooms.  If you would like to overwinter the plant, then grow it in large containers bring it indoors over the winter.    

To propagate start 4-6 weeks before the last spring frost  by soaking seeds overnight in warm water or nick with a file to break seed coat.  Vines are cold and frost-sensitive and prefers moist, well-drained soil.  Stem cuttings can also be made.  The vines will  grow slowly until hot weather when their growth rate is rapid. 

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: No serious problems.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Belle de Nuit'
  • 'Giant White'
'Belle de Nuit', 'Giant White'
Tags:
#bees#showy flowers#fragrant flowers#interesting flowers#white flowers#container plant#wildlife plant#moths#nectar plant#low maintenance#fall interest#specialized bees#vines#summer flowers#deer resistant#nighttime garden#large flowers#long bloom time#tropical vine#self-seeding#pollinator plant#large containers#patio planting#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Belle de Nuit'
  • 'Giant White'
'Belle de Nuit', 'Giant White'
Tags:
#bees#showy flowers#fragrant flowers#interesting flowers#white flowers#container plant#wildlife plant#moths#nectar plant#low maintenance#fall interest#specialized bees#vines#summer flowers#deer resistant#nighttime garden#large flowers#long bloom time#tropical vine#self-seeding#pollinator plant#large containers#patio planting#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Ipomoea
    Species:
    alba
    Family:
    Convolvulaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    FL, Mexico, Central and South America
    Wildlife Value:
    Nectar from flowers attracts moths and bees. Members of the genus Ipomea support the following specialized bees: Melitoma taurea and Cemolobus ipomoeae.
    Play Value:
    Wildlife Food Source
    Climbing Method:
    Scrambler
    Twining
    Dimensions:
    Height: 10 ft. 0 in. - 15 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 3 ft. 0 in. - 6 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Vine
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Climbing
    Dense
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    6-feet-12 feet
    12-24 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    10b, 10a, 11b, 11a, 12b, 12a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Small capsule with acuminate (pointed) tip 1" long split open and contain 4 smooth white seeds
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    White
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Long Bloom Season
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Funnel
    Trumpet
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    fused petals
    Flower Size:
    3-6 inches
    Flower Description:
    6" large, fragrant 5 lobed, fused-petaled white flowers with a light green star center open late afternoon and close at dawn from mid-summer into fall.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Cordate
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Lobed
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Deep green alternate heart-shaped to rounded-ovate 4"-8" long entire or slightly lobed margins. Petioles are thick and even sometimes fleshy.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
    Stem Description:
    Stems are hairless but some of the climbing stems have projections.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Hanging Baskets
    Patio
    Rock Wall
    Vertical Spaces
    Landscape Theme:
    Cottage Garden
    Nighttime Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Screen/Privacy
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Moths
    Pollinators
    Specialized Bees
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Problems:
    Problem for Cats
    Problem for Dogs
    Problem for Horses
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    Vomiting, large amounts of seeds may cause hallucinations
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Indole alkaloids (Lysergic acid, lysergamide, elymoclavine and chanoclavine)
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No