Ipomoea hederacea (Ivy-Leaved Morning Glory)

Ipomoea hederacea (Ivy-Leaved Morning Glory) on 10-27-21, #843-23.

Ivy-Leaved Morning Glory

Ipomoea hederacea

ip-oh-MEE-a  hed-er-AYE-see-uh/hed-er-ah-SEE-uh

Synonyms of Ipomoea hederacea (22) (Updated on 12-16-22 from Plants of the World Online): Cleiemera hederacea (Jacq.) Raf. (1838), Cleiemera hirsuta Raf. (1838), Ipomoea avicularis Raf. (1817)(not validly publ.), Ipomoea barbata Roth (1797), Ipomoea barbigera Sweet (1824), Ipomoea desertorum House (1908), Ipomoea hederacea var. integrifolia Hallier f. (1898 publ. 1899)(nom. illeg.), Ipomoea hederacea var. integriuscula A.Gray (1886), Ipomoea hirsutula Hornem. (1819)(nom. illeg.), Ipomoea limbata Boerl. (1899)(nom. illeg.), Ipomoea phymatodes Spreng. (1818), Ipomoea scabra Schult. (1809)(nom. illeg.), Ipomoea scabrida Roem. & Schult. (1819), Ipomoea triloba Thunb. (1784)(sensu auct.), Ornithosperma autumnalis Raf. (1838), Pharbitis barbata (Roth) G.Don (1837), Pharbitis barbigera (Sweet) G.Don (1837), Pharbitis hederacea (Jacq.) Choisy (1833 publ. 1834)[Conv. Or.: 58], Pharbitis hederacea var. nil Makino (1939), Pharbitis polymorpha Siebold & de Vriese (1858), Pharbitis scabrida (Schult.) G.Don (1837), Pharbitis triloba Miq. (1865)

Ipomoea hederacea Jacq. is the accepted scientific name for the Ivy-Leaved Morning Glory. It was named and described as such by Nicolaus Joseph von Jacquin in Collectanea in 1787.

The genus, Ipomoea L., was named and described by Carl von Linnaeus in the first volume of the first edition of Species Plantarum in 1753.

As of 12-16-22 when this page was last updated, Plants of the World Online by Kew lists 645 species in the Ipomoea genus. It is a member of the plant family Convolvulaceae with 59 genera. Those numbers could change as updates are made on POWO.

Distribution map of Ipomoea hederacea from Plants of the World Online. Facilitated by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet; http://www.plantsoftheworldonline.org/. Retrieved on November 17, 2021.

The above distribution map for Ipomoea hederacea is from Plants of the World Online. Areas in green are where the species is native and purple where it has been introduced. The map on the USDA Plants Database for North America (above Mexico) is similar but doesn’t include California or Colorado.

The map on iNaturalist shows where members have made observations. Anyone can join and it is a great website to confirm and share your observations. The maps on iNaturalist are continually updated as members post new observations. 


Ipomoea hederacea (Ivy-Leaved Morning Glory) on 10-27-21, #843-24.

I was walking across the south hayfield on October 27 in 2021 when I spotted several Morning Glories in bloom and sprawled across the ground. There are several members of the family that are simply called Morning Glories, so you have to take a few photos for proper ID… I uploaded photos on iNaturalist which suggested the scientific name Ipomoea hederacea with the common name Ivy-Leaved Morning Glory. I checked the Missouri Plants website and the ID was correct. Missouri Plants lists seven species of Ipomoea in Missouri and the USDA Plants Database has a very long list of species found in the United States…

For many years I thought a Morning Glory was a Morning Glory. I remember them as a kid twining up stalks of corn in my parent’s garden, and even now I see them coming up all over my garden where I have tilled the soil. BUT, I was somewhat mistaken… What I thought were ordinary morning glories in my garden, I noticed the vines on my asparagus and sweet corn did not have typical Morning Glory flowers. They turned out to be Ampelamus laevis commonly known as the Honey-Vine Climbing Milkweed, a member of the plant family Apocynaceae… I took a few photos but I haven’t made a page for that species yet because the photos didn’t come out so well… You just never know…

While many Ipomoea species are native to the United States, this one is likely a native of Mexico and/or South America. It was introduced to North America as an ornamental plant… 

Various “Morning Glory” species are found throughout the world in gardens, pastures, fields, along railroads and roadsides, and so on. They really seem to be found anywhere there is exposed or cultivated soil where they don’t have to compete with plants already growing. Of course, they like to climb on other plants, but they will sprawl along the ground and twine around each other with no problem…

Ipomoea hederacea (Ivy-Leaved Morning Glory) on 10-27-21, #843-25.

Their hairy stems are light green and can grow to as much as 6 to 10 feet in length in favorable conditions. Stems are twining, vining, sprawling, or climbing and branch out here and there.

Ipomoea hederacea (Ivy-Leaved Morning Glory) on 10-27-21, #843-26.

The leaves of Ipomoea hederacea can be distinguished from other species by their 3-lobed leaves. Some leaves on their vines may also be unlobed. Overall, leaves can grow to around 4” long x 3 1/2” wide and have petioles (leaf stems) around 2“ in length. The petioles have shallow adaxial grooves (like a gutter). Like the stems, the leaves and petioles are quite hairy. They grow in an alternate manner along the stems.

Ipomoea hederacea (Ivy-Leaved Morning Glory) on 10-27-21, #843-27.

One to three flowers emerge from leaf axils on fairly short stalks (peduncles and pedicels depending on how many flowers) from leaf axils. It is odd, but pedicels are stalks of a single flower, while if there is more than one flower, their stalks are apparently called peduncles… 

The flowers have funnelform corollas (petals), are about 2” or so wide, and can be purplish to light blue in color with white to yellowish-white centers. The flowers are surrounded by calyces with five teeth which often burl outward at their tips. 

Flowers usually only last for one day, usually opening in the morning and closing only after a few hours. They may stay open longer on cloudy days… BUT, that isn’t always the case. The photos on this page were taken a little after 5 PM… 

A 3-celled capsule with 4-6  black or brown seeds replaces the flowers.

Ipomoea hederacea is self-pollinating with a selfing rate of around 93%. Ipomoea species interfere with each other’s pollination which can cause the seeds of some species seeds to be sterile.

I hope to find the Ipomoea hederacea again so I can get more and better photos.

I have enjoyed photographing and learning about the many wildflowers growing on the farm and other areas. My farm is in Windsor, Missouri in Pettis County (Henry County is across the street and Benton and Johnson aren’t far away). I have grown over 500 different plants and identified over 200 species of wildflowers (most have pages listed on the right side of the page). I am not an expert, botanist, or horticulturalist. I just like growing, photographing, and writing about my experience. I rely on several websites for ID and a few horticulturalists I contact if I cannot figure them out. Wildflowers can be somewhat variable from location to location, so sometimes it gets a bit confusing. If you see I have made an error, please let me know so I can correct what I have written.

I hope you found this page useful and be sure to check the links below for more information. They were written by experts and provide much more information. Some sites may not be up-to-date but they are always a work in progress. If you can, I would appreciate it if you would click on the “Like” below and leave a comment. It helps us bloggers stay motivated. You can also send an email to me at thebelmontrooster@yahoo.com. I would enjoy hearing from you especially if you notice something is a bit whacky.


NOTE: The data (figures, maps, accepted names, etc.) may not match on these websites. It depends on when and how they make updates and when their sources make updates. Some websites have hundreds and even many thousands of species to keep up with. Accepted scientific names change periodically and it can be hard to keep with as well. Some of the links may use a name that is a synonym on other sites. In my opinion, Plants of the World Online by Kew is the most reliable and up-to-date plant database and they make updates on a regular basis. I make updates “at least” once a year and when I write new pages or add new photos but I do get behind. We are all a work in progress. 🙂