Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Suppport the plant database you love!

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

Vine for Nevada Sunny Wall
January 23, 2016 - I want a non-invasive vine to grow on a block wall that receives approx 6-10 hrs of sun. I live in Las Vegas, Nevada. I want to put in a narrow walkway between our house and a block wall to add color ...
view the full question and answer

Unusual vine in San Diego County, California
May 12, 2012 - Dear Mr. or Ms. Smarty Pants, I came across an unusual vine winding through a young Zumaque growing off the edge of a mesa in San Diego (coastal sage scrub). The small (fingernail-sized)leaves rough...
view the full question and answer

Is there a vine in Indiana with poisonous thorns?
December 27, 2011 - I was cut at the left big toe by a brownish/red thorny vine while tracking thru dry grass near the bridge exiting 278. I'm from Indianapolis, in 46208. Was wondering if I was exposed to a poisonous v...
view the full question and answer

Plant ID of growth on wild grape vine in New Bern NC
August 08, 2010 - There are purplish cone-shaped things growing on my wild grape vine. What are they?
view the full question and answer

Non-blooming wisteria in Oklahoma
June 24, 2008 - I have a wisteria bush that doesn't bloom. It's two years old. What should I do?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.