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Plant Profile: Moonflower (Ipomea alba)

Ipomea alba moonflowerm This perennial flowering vine is native to tropical and semi-tropical regions of the New World in South, Central, and North America. A member of the morning glory family (Convolvulaceae) and should not be confused with other plants with the common name moonflower. It is is the same genus as morning glories (I. tricolor), sweet potato ((. batatus), and cypress vine (I. quamoclit).The vigorous vines grow quickly and climb by twining so are useful on a porch, fence, gazebo and trellise. The leaves are heart-shaped four to eight inches long. The white or pink flowers are fragrant and three to five inches across. They open from four inch long buds suddening in the afternoon or evening and last just one night, but are produced in profusion. Plants flower best when and where summer days are about twelve hours long. The seeds can be collected in the fall for planting in spring when the soil warms up. The genus name Ipomea comes from the Greek words  ips meaning worm and homoios meaning resembling, and refers to the twining nature of the plant. The specific name alba means white in Latin and refers to the color of the flowers.

Bloom: White to pink fragrant flower 3-5″ across in summer

Size: 15’+

Light: Full sun; tolerates some shade

Soil: Average, moist, well-drained

Care: Low maintenance

Hardiness: Zones 9-11 grown as an annual outside its reange

Pests and Diseases: None of significance

Propagation: Seed (soaked and nicked; planted when soil is warm), stem cuttings