Ipomoea alba – Moonflower

Ipomoea alba - Moonflower, Tropical White Morning-glory, Moon Flower, Moon Vine

Ipomoea alba - Moonflower, Tropical White Morning-glory, Moon Flower, Moon Vine

Plant Name

Scientific Name: Ipomoea alba

Synonym: Calonyction aculeatum

Common Names: Moonflower, Tropical White Morning-glory, Moon Flower, Moon Vine

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Annual

Growth Habit: Vine, Herb/Forb

Hawaii Native Status: Introduced. This naturalized ornamental garden plant is native to Mexico, but it is now widespread in the tropics.

Flower Color: White

Height: Climbing to 15 feet (4.6 m) tall or more.

Description: The flowers open at night and are up to 6 inches (15 cm) across with a slender, equally long floral tube. The flowers have 5 sepals, 5 broadly rounded corolla lobes, and a pale greenish yellow 5-pointed "star" radiating from the center of the floral tube. Even though they are night-blooming, the large, shining white flowers are easy to spot if there is any moonlight. The leaves are green, alternate, and heart-shaped to slightly 3-lobed. The stems are green and twining.

Here in Hawaii, Moonflower grows in mesic (moderately wet) to wet disturbed areas from sea level to 2000 feet (610 m) in elevation.

Special Characteristics

Fragrant – The flowers shine in the moonlight and have a delightful evening fragrance.

Classification

Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass: Asteridae
Order: Solanales
Family: Convolvulaceae – Morning-glory family
Genus: Ipomoea L. – morning-glory
Species: Ipomoea alba L. – tropical white morning-glory

More About This Plant

Hawaii County Distribution Map