Scientific name: Ipomoea indica (Burm.) Merr.
Common names: blue morning glory, blue dawn flower
Risk Assessment score: 30 | Value obtained according to a protocol adapted from the Australian Weed Risk Assessment (Pheloung et al. 1999), by Morais et al. (2017), according to which values above 13 mean that the species has risk of having invasive behavior in the Portuguese territory | Updated on 30/09/2017.
Synonymy: Pharbitis cathartica (Poiret) Choisy, Ipomoea catartica Poir., Ipomoea congesta R. Br., Ipomoea indica (Burm. f.) Merr. var. acuminata (Vahl) Fosberg, Ipomoea mutabilis Lindl., Ipomoea learii Paxton, Ipomoea acuminata (Vahl) Roemer & Schultes, Convolvulus acuminatus Vahl
Last update: 08/07/2014
How to recognise it
Flowers: tapered, large, with 6-8,5 cm, very flashy, frequently blue, but sometimes white, pink or multi-coloured, generally becoming pink when they wither.
Fruits: capsules with 10-13 mm diameter, with 4-6 seeds inside.
Flowering: June to November.
Ipomoea purpurea (L.) Roth has some similarities, but it’s an annual herb and with entire leaves. Its flowers may be grossly mistaken by violet-flowered petunias (Petunia integrifolia (Hook) Schinz & Thell), but its plant type and leaves are much larger than the latter one’s.
Characteristics that aid invasion
It reproduces vegetatively through stem fragments that root easily. The stems sprout vigorously after being cut.
Sometimes, but not often, it reproduces by seed.
Native distribution area
Tropical area of South America, Asia and Hawaii.
Distribution in Portugal
Mainland Portugal (Douro Litoral, Beira Litoral, Estremadura, Ribatejo, Baixo Alentejo, Algarve), Azores archipelago (all islands), Madeira archipelago (island of Madeira).
Geographic areas where there are records of Ipomoea indica
South Africa, North America (USA), Australia, New Zealand, some Pacific islands and other countries of the Mediterranean basin.
Preferential invasion environments
Disturbed habitats (hedges, quarries, abandoned constructions, etc.), slopes where it was planted and under trees or other vegetation. In natural habitats, the problem is mainly by the watercourses, where it threatens riparian vegetation.
Controlling an invasive species demands a well-planned management, which includes the determination of the invaded area, identifying the causes of invasion, assessing the impacts, defining the intervention priorities, selecting the adequate control methodologies and their application. Afterwards it is fundamental to monitor the efficiency of the methodologies and recuperation of the intervened area as to perform, whenever necessary, the follow-up control.
The control methodologies used for Ipomoea indica include:
Hand pulling (preferencial methodology). In more compact substrates, hand pulling should be made during the rainy season to facilitate the removal of the root system. It should be guaranteed that no large fragments are left in the ground; these would root easily and originate new invasion foci. Every unpulled material should be removed from the location for later destruction.
Physical + chemical control
Cut stump method. cut the stems as close to the ground as possible and apply herbicide immediately afterwards (active substance: glyphosate) to the cut surface. Some authors have noticed that since the sprouts are more sensitive to the herbicide, this chemical should be applied to them when they reach 60 cm in height.
Visit the webpage How to Control for additional and more detailed information about the correct application of these methodologies.
Fagundes D, Az J, Beiras MB (2007) Plantas invasoras de Galicia. Bioloxía, distribución e métodos de control. Xunta de Galicia, Santiago de Compostela, 209pp.
Marchante E, Freitas H, Marchante H (2008) Guia prático para a identificação de plantas invasoras de Portugal Continental. Imprensa da Universidade de Coimbra, Coimbra, 183pp.
Silva L, Corvelo R, Moura M, Guerra AS, Fernandes FM (2008) Ipomoea indica (Burn. Fil.) Merr. In: Silva L, Land EO, Luengo JLR (eds) Flora e fauna terrestre invasora na Macaronésia. Top 100 nos Açores, Madeira e Canárias. Arena, Ponta Delgada, pp. 318-321.
USDA, NRCS. (2012) The PLANTS Database. National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA. Available: http://plants.usda.gov [Retrieved 12/11/2012].