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Published In: Species Plantarum 1: 160. 1753. (1 May 1753) (Sp. Pl.) Name publication detailView in BotanicusView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 8/11/2017)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project Data     (Last Modified On 7/9/2009)
Status: Introduced


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2. Ipomoea coccinea L. (red morning glory, scarlet starglory)

Quamoclit coccinea (L.) Moench

Pl. 366 j, k; Map 1597

Plants annual. Stems 40–300 cm long, glabrous or nearly so. Leaves short- to long-petiolate. Leaf blades 2–12 cm long, usually with a pair of short, downward-pointing or somewhat spreading basal lobes, broadly ovate to somewhat sagittate in outline, tapered to a sharply pointed tip, glabrous or inconspicuously short-hairy toward the base, the lobes triangular to narrowly triangular, sharply pointed at the tip, the margins sometimes also with a few short teeth toward the base. Flowers rarely solitary or more commonly in loose clusters of 2–8, the stalks glabrous. Sepals similar in size and shape or the outer 2 slightly shorter and narrower, the main body 3–7 mm long, broadly oblong-elliptic, rounded or truncate at the tip but with a slender, tapered awn 2–6 mm long from just below the tip, glabrous. Corollas 2.0–3.5 cm long, trumpet-shaped, the tube slender, widened abruptly at the tip, orangish red to red, with the tube and throat often yellow to yellowish orange. Stamens exserted. Ovary 4-locular, the stigma 2-lobed. Fruits globose or nearly so, the main body 5–7 mm long, the persistent style 3–4 mm long, glabrous. Seeds 3.2–3.6 mm long, the surface densely pubescent with minute, curly hairs. 2n=28. June–October.

Scattered, mostly south of the Missouri River (eastern [mostly southeastern] U.S. west to Kansas and Texas). Banks of streams and rivers; also pastures, fencerows, ditches, crop fields, fallow fields, railroads, roadsides, and moist, open, disturbed areas.

Many earlier botanists confused I. coccinea with the closely related I. hederifolia L. (Wilson, 1960). This mostly tropical American species occurs natively as far north as Arizona to Alabama and has only rarely been recorded farther north as an introduction. With the separation of the two taxa (O’Donell, 1959) came the recognition that I. coccinea is a native colonizer of stream banks and other periodically disturbed, moist habitats. Ipomoea hederifolia differs from I. coccinea in its slightly longer and broader inner sepals, as well as the tendency of its leaves to have deeper lobes and sometimes to be palmately 5-lobed. This species has not yet been reported from Missouri.

Ipomoea coccinea occasionally is cultivated as an ornamental for its red flowers, which attract hummingbirds. The self-fertile flowers produce large quantities of seed, and the plant can sometimes become a nuisance in gardens. Hybrids with I. quamoclit are discussed under the treatment of that species.



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