En Español

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Monday - April 23, 2012

From: Spring, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Vines
Title: Should Ipomea alba be planted in a yard in Spring, TX?
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

I would like to know if there is any reason not to plant Tropical Morning glory (Moon Flower-Ipomoea alba)in my yard. Is it toxic or aggressivley invasive? I am looking at a space in my side yard with a western exposure. It will have medium shade and plenty of water. What about on a tree rather than a fence? Thanks,

ANSWER:

Moon Flower Ipomoea alba (Tropical white morning glory) is a fast-growing, vigorous, twining vine that is a member of the morning glory family (Convolvulaceae). It isn’t considered invasive, but two other members of the family  that are considered invasive are Bind Weed and Swamp Morning Glory.

The Moon Flower blooms at night which adds a mystic touch to the plant, and this Floridata link suggests that it might be called the evening glory. (images)

Several members of the family are said to have seeds containing toxins/hallucinogens , but Ipomea tricolor is the only species that I could find on a poisonous plants list.

The plant can grow in full to partial sun, and can grow along a fence or on a trellis. I would not have it grow on a tree because its dense growth can shade the tree leaves and and interfere with growth. Besides, the beautiful flowers would be up in the tree instead of closer to the ground where they can be enjoyed.

So I think there’s no compelling reason not to plant the Moon Flower, and I would grow it on an arbor or trellis beside the deck where one could sit in the evening and take in the fragrance of the gorgeous blooms.

 

More Vines Questions

Should grape vines be covered in winter from San Antonio
February 07, 2011 - Do I need to cover grape vines in winter?
view the full question and answer

Sources for plants from Abingdon MD
August 02, 2012 - What stores or nursuries in Harford County sell already grown Coral honeysuckle, Purple passion flower, trumpet creeper, and crossvine?
view the full question and answer

Flowering vine in Tennessee
September 01, 2009 - I'm in Memphis, TN & have a flowering vine growing wild behind my A/C unit. Not the sort of vine that twines. Small blue flowers bloom out of pods; flowers only have two petals. Blooms last only one...
view the full question and answer

Difference between invasive Chinese and Japanese wisterias and native wisteria
September 12, 2014 - Dear Mr or Ms Smarty Plants, Is there any way I can tell for sure if my wisteria is native? I bought it at a place when it was in bloom that sold a lot of native plants. I Would like to know for sure...
view the full question and answer

Control methods for Tribulus terrestris, Goatheads or Puncturevine
September 21, 2006 - We have some land that has so many goatheads we can't do anything with it. We would like to know what if anything will remove them from our place. There has to be something out there that will kill ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center