Plant DetailShow Menu

Native alternative(s) for Ipomoea tricolor:
Ipomoea pandurata Ipomoea pandurata on fence
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Lantana camara Lantana camara flower
Clematis terniflora form in landscape on arbor in late summer
Clematis paniculata Clematis paniculata

Morning Glory Ipomoea tricolor

Previously known as:

  • Convolvulus venustus
  • Pharbitis tricolor
Phonetic Spelling
eye-poh-MEE-ah TRY-kuh-lur
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

In our climate, the morning glory is a multi-stemmed ornamental annual vine that has summer-blooming trumpet-shaped flowers of either purple, pink, blue, or white. The leaves are green, pubescent, and heart-shaped. The vine is fast-growing and has twining soft stems. The plant may be used as groundcover, container plant, or grown on a trellis or arbor. The flowers open in the morning and then fade and drop by evening. The vine grows up to 8 to 10 feet tall and 3 to 6 feet wide.

The morning glory plant is a perennial in its native Mexico. In some areas of the United States, this plant is considered a noxious weed. 

The genus name, Ipomoea, is derived from two Greek words. Ips means "worm," and homoios means "resembling." This likely refers to the worm-like twining habit of the plant. The specific epithet, tricolor, means" having three colors." The tricolor refers to the specific flower color of blue, pink, purple, or white, the pale yellow center, and the streaks of white that form a star shape along the petals.

The morning glory will thrive best in full sun and moist, well-drained soil. It will perform well in poor soil with little or no fertilizer  It does not tolerate standing water, but it is tolerant to heat and urban conditions. This vine grows very rapidly but will require support. To plant from seed, nick the hard seed coat and soak overnight before planting. It is self-seeding and tends to become weedy and can be troublesome in agriculture. If necessary, the plant may be controlled by preemergent herbicides. The morning glory attracts butterflies and hummingbirds; however, it is said to be deer resistant.

This plant is toxic to dogs, cats, and horses. Ingestion of the seeds of this plant can cause hallucinations. It is also recommended to wear protective gloves when handling the morning glory.

This twining ornamental vine is best planted with a supportive structure such as an arbor, pergola, or trellis. It may be planted as a ground cover or used in containers and hanging baskets. It is also attractive grown along fences or walls.

Seasons of Interest:

Bloom:  Summer and Fall       Foliage:  Spring, Summer, and Fall

Quick ID Hints:

  • fast-growing twining annual vine, 8 to 10 feet tall, and 3 to 6 feet wide
  • green, heart-shaped leaves
  • purple, pink, blue, or white trumpet-shaped flowers that bloom in the morning and then fade
  • dry dehiscent capsule fruit

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: The morning glory has no serious insect or disease problems. Monitor for aphids, spider mites, leaf miners, and caterpillars.

VIDEO created by Andy Pulte for “Landscape Plant Identification, Taxonomy, and Morphology” a plant identification course offered by the Department of Plant Sciences, University of Tennessee.

 

 

More information on Ipomoea.

Profile Video:
See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Blue Star'
  • 'Crimson Rambler'
  • 'Heavenly Blue'
    azure blue trumpet-shaped flowers with white and yellow throats
  • 'Heavenly Blue Improved'
'Blue Star', 'Crimson Rambler', 'Heavenly Blue', 'Heavenly Blue Improved'
Tags:
#showy flowers#poisonous#full sun tolerant#heat tolerant#houseplant#annuals#weedy#blue flowers#high maintenance#fast growing#vines#deer resistant#groundcover#self-seeding#screening#twining vine#poor soils tolerant#urban conditions tolerant#arbor#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses#container plant#wet soils intolerant#landscape plant sleuths course#trellis
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Blue Star'
  • 'Crimson Rambler'
  • 'Heavenly Blue'
    azure blue trumpet-shaped flowers with white and yellow throats
  • 'Heavenly Blue Improved'
'Blue Star', 'Crimson Rambler', 'Heavenly Blue', 'Heavenly Blue Improved'
Tags:
#showy flowers#poisonous#full sun tolerant#heat tolerant#houseplant#annuals#weedy#blue flowers#high maintenance#fast growing#vines#deer resistant#groundcover#self-seeding#screening#twining vine#poor soils tolerant#urban conditions tolerant#arbor#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses#container plant#wet soils intolerant#landscape plant sleuths course#trellis
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Ipomoea
    Species:
    tricolor
    Family:
    Convolvulaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    The morning glory reportedly has environmental and social uses. The plant can be used as a poison or medicine.
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Mexico
    Distribution:
    Native: Mexico Central, Mexico Gulf, Mexico Northeast, Mexico Southeast, and Mexico Southwest. Introduced: Argentina, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Brazil, Chad, Columbia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Haiti, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Puerto Rico, Queensland, Romania, Rwanda, Somalia, Tanzania, Thailand, Uganda, Venezuela, Zambia, Zaire, Zimbabwe, and the United States--AZ, FL, MA, PA, and TX.
    Wildlife Value:
    Attracts butterflies and hummingbirds.
    Play Value:
    Colorful
    Climbing Method:
    Twining
    Dimensions:
    Height: 8 ft. 0 in. - 10 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 3 ft. 0 in. - 6 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Annual
    Poisonous
    Vine
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Climbing
    Multi-stemmed
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    High
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    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
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b, 11a, 11b, 12a, 12b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Description:
    The fruit is a dehiscent dry capsule. The small, black seeds are poisonous. To plant the seeds, nick the hard seed coat and soak overnight.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Blue
    Pink
    Purple/Lavender
    White
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Funnel
    Trumpet
    Flower Petals:
    fused petals
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    The flowers are funnel or trumpet-shaped. They may be purple, pink, blue, or white. They bloom from mid-summer to fall. The flowers open in the morning, then fade and drop.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Cordate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    The leaves are alternate, simple, heart-shaped, pubescent, 1 to 3 inches long, and 1 to 2.5 inches wide.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
    Stem Description:
    The stems are green, twining, and soft.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Hanging Baskets
    Houseplants
    Patio
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Cottage Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Screen/Privacy
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Hummingbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Heat
    Poor Soil
    Urban Conditions
    Problems:
    Poisonous to Humans
    Problem for Cats
    Problem for Dogs
    Problem for Horses
    Weedy
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    Ingestion of the seeds can cause hallucinations, dilated pupils, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and drowsiness. numbness of extremities, and muscle tightness. Ingestion of the leaves and stems may cause vomiting.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Contains lysergic acids that causes hallucinations much like LSD
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Seeds