Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Ipomoea mauritiana Jacq.

Slender Vine
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Leaves and flower. © B. Gray
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO

Jacquin, N.J. von (1791) Collectanea 4: 216. Type: Illustration ?.

Common name

Palmate morning glory


A slender vine not exceeding a stem diameter of 2 cm.


Leaf blades deeply 5-7-lobed, about 6-18 x 8-22 cm. Each lobe is complete with a midrib and lateral veins which form loops inside the blade margin. Petioles about 2-9 cm long.


Inflorescence about 15-18 cm long. Sepals about 8-10 mm long. Corolla trumpet-shaped, about 35-50 x 70-80 mm. Sepals about 10 x 5-7 mm. Staminal filaments attached to the corolla tube about 5 mm from the base, Filaments about 12 mm long clothed in hairs on the basal section. Anthers about 4 mm long. Ovary about 1-3 mm long, seated on a fleshy disk about 0.5-0.75 mm high. Style about 25-26 mm long. Stigma globular, about 2 mm diam, Ovules 2 per locule.


Fruits about 9-14 x 10-11 mm, calyx lobes persistent at the base. Seeds slightly flattened, about 8 x 6 mm, densely clothed in brown hairs 6-8 mm long on each side. Cotyledons folded many times with endosperm intruding into the gaps.


Cotyledons bilobed, each cotyledon about 2.5-3.5 x 1.5-2.5 cm, petioles about 2.5-3 cm long. Midrib forked and not reaching the end, i.e. the notch in the cotyledon. First leaf triangular, second leaf three-lobed. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade palmately lobed, usually 5-lobed, petiole about 6-7 cm long or about as long as the leaf blade. Petiole deeply channelled on the upper surface. Exudate milky but somewhat watery. Stems twining. Taproot thick, carrot-like (Daucus carota). Seed germination time 31 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in NT, CYP, NEQ and CEQ. Altitudinal range from near sea level to about 100 m. Grows in beach forest, vine thicket, rain forest and gallery forest. Pantropic, sometimes cultivated for ornamental purposes.

Ipomoea paniculata (L.) R.Br., Prodromus Florae Novae Hollandiae : 486(1810). Batatas paniculata (L.) Choisy, M~Pmoires de la Soci~Pt~P de Physique et d'Histoire Naturelle de Gen~hve 6 : 436(1833). Ipomoea digitata L. var. digitata, Flora Malesiana ser. I 4: 483(1951). Ipomoea digitata L., Systema Naturae : 924(1759), Type: Plum. ic. 92. f. 1. Convolvulus paniculatus L., Species Plantarum 2: 156(1753), Type: Habitat in Malabariae arenosis.
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