Friday, August 21, 2015

Flower Friday: This brilliant beach beauty's blooms are brief!

Beach morning glory (Ipomoea imperati)

Photo by Bill Frank, taken near Mayport Naval Station, Duval County
Beach morning glory is a low-growing, sprawling, non-climbing vine with showy white flowers. Blooms are large (about 2"+) and funnel-shaped with fused white petals and yellow centers. Leaves are small in comparison to the bloom and are elliptic- to oval-shaped with a notched tip (apex). They are leathery, succulent and alternately arranged. Seeds are capsules.

Beach morning glory typically blooms in summer and fall. It occurs naturally on coastal dunes.

Like other members of the Ipomoea genus, beach morning glory flowers in the morning and its blooms begin to wilt and close up by afternoon, hence the common name "morning glory."

The family name Convolvulaceae comes from the Greek convolvere, which means "to wind," referring to the winding nature of the stems. 
Family: Convolvulaceae (Morning glory family)
Native range: Coastal counties (from Escambia east to Franklin; from Nassau south into the Keys; Levy, Hernando, Pinellas and Charlotte)
Hardiness: Zones 8–10
Soil: Dry, well-drained, sandy soils
Exposure: Full sun
Growth habit: up to 6" with 10-20'+ spread
Propagation: Seeds, cuttings
Garden tips: Beach morning glory
has a tendency to grow fast and spread quickly, thus it is best suited for coastal landscapes and dune restoration sites where it can sprawl freely. In the right conditions, however, it can be used as a groundcover if closely maintained.

Caution: Some species in the Ipomoea genus are known to be toxic to humans if ingested.

Beach morning glory plants are often available at nurseries that specialize in native plants. Visit PlantRealFlorida.org to find a native nursery on your area.

To see where beach morning glory occurs naturally, visit www.florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/Plant.aspx?id=2755.

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