Sunday, July 15, 2012
Man-of-the-Earth - Ipomoea pandurata
Man-of-the-earth (Ipomoea pandurata) is one of a great many morning-glories native to Florida. Most are somewhat aggressive vining herbaceous wildflowers that wind their way through adjacent vegetation; sometimes earning them a reputation as "noxious" weeds. This is one such species, despite its attractive flowers. Man-of-the-earth is native throughout Florida and much of eastern North America. In Michigan and New York, it is classisflied as a state-listed species, but in parts of the mid-South and Midwest it is prohibited to plant. Throughout its range, it occurs in well-drained upland sunny locations.
Man-of-the-earth is a perennial that dies to the ground in winter. In spring, it emerges and its various stems may reach well more than 6 feet in length. It uses its tendrils to anchor itself to nearby vegetation and can nearly cover it at times. Its leaves are opposite on the stems and can be either oval in shape or lobed as the one photographed above.
Flowering occurs in summer and into the fall. Like other members of this genus, the flowers last only one morning. Man-of-the-earth has blooms that are white with a deep violet throat. Each is about 2 1/2 inches across. They attract a wide variety of pollinators.
Most of Florida's morning-glories are difficult landscape species because of their aggressiveness and the difficulty in controlling them. As such, this species has not been offered for sale commercially by FANN members and is unlikely to in the future. However, it is easy to propagate from seed and could be grown on a stout fence or large trellis should you be interested. It is not prohibited from planting in Florida.