Ipomoea pandurata (L.) G.F.W. Mey. - Man Root

Ipomoea pandurata plant

Family - Convolvulaceae

Stems - Vining, twining, somewhat woody - especially below, to many meters long, branching or not, somewhat angled, glabrous to pubescent. Root is large (+50cm long and weighing up to 30 pounds), vertical, and tuber-like.

Leaves - Alternate, petiolate. Petioles to +/-9cm long, glabrous to pubescent, with a shallow adaxial groove. Blades typically cordate, sometimes pandurate, entire, acute, glabrous to pubescent, green above, light green below, to +/-15cm long, +/-11cm broad, entire. Margins often wavy.

Ipomoea pandurata leavesPressed leaves.

Inflorescence - Axillary pedunculate cymes of 2-10 flowers. Pedicels to +2cm long, glabrous. Each division of cyme subtended by foliaceous bracts. Bracts to +/-2cm long.

Flowers - Corolla white with a wine-colored base internally, salverform, to +/-8cm long and broad, glabrous. Stamens 5, unequal, adnate near base of corolla tube, included. Filaments to +2cm long, glabrous apically, pubescent and expanded slightly at base. Anthers whitish-pink, +/-8mm long. Style 3.5cm long, glabrous, white, included. Ovary superior, green, conic, 1-2mm long, 2-locular, with 2 ovules. Placentation axile. Ovary with a green nectary at base. Stigma biglobose, 2-3mm broad, becoming brown when dried. Calyx of 5 unequal sepals. Sepals distinct, overlapping, with rugose venation, the largest to +2.5cm long, +/-1.6cm broad, glabrous, entire, elliptic-ovate, acute, often with a purple tint.

Ipomoea pandurata flower

Ipomoea pandurata corolla tubeCorolla tube.

Ipomoea pandurata calyxCalyx.

Flowering - May - September.

Habitat - Moist soils, thickets, waste ground, disturbed sites, roadsides, railroads.

Origin - Native to U.S.

Other info. - Steyermark lists two forms for the state. Form pandurata (pictured above) has short hairs on either one or both leaf surfaces. Form leviuscula Fern. has glabrous leaves. These forms are probably not valid.
Like most of the members of this genus, this plant can get weedy, but it is quite striking in full flower.
The leaves of this species are quite variable, especially when the plant is young.

Photographs taken in Brown Summit, NC., 8-1-02..


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