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3 May 2020

Ipomoea cairica (five-fingered morning glory)

Datasheet Types: Invasive species, Host plant

Abstract

This datasheet on Ipomoea cairica covers Identity, Overview, Distribution, Dispersal, Diagnosis, Biology & Ecology, Environmental Requirements, Natural Enemies, Impacts, Uses, Prevention/Control, Further Information.

Identity

Preferred Scientific Name
Ipomoea cairica (L.) Sweet
Preferred Common Name
five-fingered morning glory
Other Scientific Names
Batatas cavanillesii (Roem. & Schult.) G. Don
Batatas senegalensis G. Don
Convolvulus cairicus L.
Convolvulus cavanillesii (Roem. & Schult.) Spreng.
Convolvulus limphaticus Vell.
Convolvulus tuberculatus Desr.
Ipomoea cavanillesii Roem. & Schult.
Ipomoea funaria Larrañaga
Ipomoea heptaphylla Griseb.
Ipomoea palmata Forssk.
Ipomoea pentaphylla Cav.
Ipomoea senegalensi Lam.
Ipomoea stipulacea Jacq.
Ipomoea tuberculata (Desr.) Roem. & Schult.
Ipomoea vesiculosa P. Beauv.
International Common Names
English
Cairo morning glory
coast morning glory
coastal morning glory
five-leaf morning-glory
ivy-leaved morning glory
Messina creeper
mile-a-minute
mile-a-minute-vine
morning glory
railroad creeper
railway creeper
French
ipomée du Caire
liane de sept ans
Chinese
qian xi wu zhao jin long
wu zhao jin long
Local Common Names
Germany
kairoer Trichterwinde
Japan
momiji-hirugao
New Zealand
pouwhiwhi
Niue
sefifi sea
South Africa
ihlambe
ijalamu
intana
umaholwana
Spain
campanilla palmeada
USA/Hawaii
koali
koali ‘ai
koali ‘ai‘ai
koali lau manamana
kowali
pa'ali
EPPO code
IPOCA (Ipomoea cairica)

Pictures

Ipomoea cairica (five-fingered morning glory); Flowers and foliage. Kkozhikode, Kerala, India. December 2017.
Flowers and foliage
Ipomoea cairica (five-fingered morning glory); Flowers and foliage. Kkozhikode, Kerala, India. December 2017.
©Vineeth Vengolis (Vengolis)/via Wikimedia Commons - CC BY-SA 3.0
Ipomoea cairica (five-fingered morning glory); Flowering habit. India. September 2016.
Flowering habit
Ipomoea cairica (five-fingered morning glory); Flowering habit. India. September 2016.
©Vineeth Vengolis (Vengolis)/via Wikimedia Commons - CC BY-SA 4.0
Ipomoea cairica (five-fingered morning glory); Flower and foliage. Kkozhikode, Kerala, India. October 2017.
Flower and foliage
Ipomoea cairica (five-fingered morning glory); Flower and foliage. Kkozhikode, Kerala, India. October 2017.
©Vineeth Vengolis (Vengolis)/via Wikimedia Commons - CC BY-SA 3.0
Ipomoea cairica (five-fingered morning glory); Flower and foliage. Kkozhikode, Kerala, India. December 2017.
Flower and foliage
Ipomoea cairica (five-fingered morning glory); Flower and foliage. Kkozhikode, Kerala, India. December 2017.
©Vineeth Vengolis (Vengolis)/via Wikimedia Commons - CC BY-SA 3.0
I. palmata flowers.
Flowers
I. palmata flowers.
©A.R. Pittaway
Ipomoea cairica (five-fingered morning glory); Seeds. ARS Systematic Botany and Mycology Laboratory, India.
Seeds
Ipomoea cairica (five-fingered morning glory); Seeds. ARS Systematic Botany and Mycology Laboratory, India.
Public Domain - Released by USDA Agricultural Research Service (taken by Steve Hurst)/via Wikimedia Commons - CC0 1.0

Summary of Invasiveness

Ipomoea cairica is a vigorous, perennial climber that has been widely introduced as a garden ornamental across tropical, subtropical and temperate regions. It is a fast-growing vine that spreads easily by seed and stem fragments and once naturalized, has the potential to outcompete native plants, completely invading the space by climbing and shadowing other plant species. The trailing and climbing stems of I. cairica curl around neighbouring support plants smothering native shrubs and trees, impeding their growth and preventing their regeneration. Currently, this species is listed as a weed in Thailand, Vietnam, southern USA, Central and South America and as invasive and seriously harmful to the environment in southern China, Japan, Australia, Singapore, the Canary Islands, Cuba and on many islands in the Pacific region.

Taxonomic Tree

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Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

The family Convolvulaceae comprises about 59 genera and 1880 species. The genus Ipomoea is one of the largest within this family with more than 700 species mainly distributed in tropical and warm temperate regions of the world and known as ‘morning glories’. Most of the species within this genus are twining climbing plants and include annual and perennial herbs, lianas, shrubs and small trees (Stevens, 2020).

Plant Type

Perennial
Seed / spore propagated
Vegetatively propagated
Vine / climber
Woody

Description

The following description is from Wagner et al. (1999):
Perennial vine; stems twining or sometimes prostrate, herbaceous but woody towards base, up to 5 m or more long, smooth or muricate, glabrous or rarely villous at nodes. Leaf blades chartaceous, ovate to orbicular in outline, 3-10 cm long and wide, palmately divided, usually to base into 5-7 lobes, the lobes lanceolate to ovate or elliptic, 3-5 cm long, apex acute or obtuse and mucronulate, outer lobes sometimes bifid, glabrous, petioles up to ca. 2/3 as long as blades, pseudostipules present. Flowers one to numerous in lax dichasia, peduncles 5-80 mm long, pedicels 12-30 mm long; sepals ovate, 4-6.5 mm long, outer ones slightly shorter, glabrous, more or less verrucose, margins scarious, apex obtuse to acute, mucronulate; corolla purple, bluish purple, or white with a purple centre, funnelform, (3-) 4.5-6 cm long. Capsules brown, subglobose, 1-1.2 cm long, glabrous. Seeds black to tan, subglobose to ovoid, 4-6 mm long, densely short-tomentose, sometimes with long silky hairs along the margins.

Distribution

The native distribution range of I. cairica is still uncertain, but it is thought to be native to tropical Africa and Asia. Currently, this species can be found naturalized across Asia, northern Africa, Australia, North, Central and South America, the Caribbean and on many islands across the Indian and the Pacific Ocean (PIER, 2018; POWO, 2020; Staples, 2020; USDA-ARS, 2020).

Distribution Map

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Distribution Table

This content is currently unavailable.

Risk of Introduction

The risk of new introductions of I. cairica is high. This species is widely cultivated and commercialized as an ornamental. It is adapted to grow in a wide range of habitats and soil types and can be easily dispersed by seed and stem fragments (Weber, 2003; Queensland Government, 2018; ISSG, 2019Maimela and Gumede, 2019).

Means of Movement and Dispersal

Ipomoea cairica spreads by seed and vegetatively by rooting along its stems. Seeds are dispersed by wind and water and stem fragments are often dispersed in dumped garden waste and can also be spread by water. In cultivation, it is propagated from seed and cuttings (Weber, 2003; PIER, 2018; Queensland Government, 2018; Maimela and Gumede, 2019).

Pathway Causes

Pathway causeNotesLong distanceLocalReferences
Disturbance (pathway cause)Naturalized along roadsides, open areas, ruderal areasYesYes
Escape from confinement or garden escape (pathway cause)Escaped from gardens, often naturalizedYesYes
Garden waste disposal (pathway cause)Seeds and stem fragments in dumped garden wasteYesYes
Horticulture (pathway cause)Grown as a garden ornamentalYesYes
Intentional release (pathway cause)Grown as a garden ornamentalYesYes
Internet sales (pathway cause)Seeds for sale onlineYesYes 
Medicinal use (pathway cause)Used in traditional medicineYesYes
Nursery trade (pathway cause)Grown as a garden ornamentalYesYes
Ornamental purposes (pathway cause)Grown as a garden ornamentalYesYes
Seed trade (pathway cause)Seeds for sale onlineYesYes 

Pathway Vectors

Pathway vectorNotesLong distanceLocalReferences
Debris and waste associated with human activities (pathway vector)Seeds and stem fragments in dumped garden wasteYesYes
Mail (pathway vector)Seeds for sale onlineYesYes 
Water (pathway vector)Seeds and stem fragmentsYesYes
Wind (pathway vector)SeedsYesYes

Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

Ipomoea cairica is very similar to I. purpurea, I. indica and I. hederacea [I. nil]. These species can be distinguished by the following traits (Queensland Government, 2018):
I. cairica has hairless (glabrous) stems and 5- to 7-lobed leaves (palmately lobed). Flowers are 5-8 cm long; sepals are relatively short (4-7 mm long) and it often produces capsules containing four hairy seeds;
I. indica has hairy (pubescent) younger stems and heart-shaped (cordate) or three-lobed leaves. Flowers are 7-10 cm long and sepals are 14-22 mm long;
I. purpurea has hairy (pubescent) younger stems and heart-shaped (cordate) or three-lobed leaves. Flowers are 3-7 cm long; sepals are 10-15 mm long and it often produces capsules containing six hairless seeds;
I. hederacea [I. nil] has hairy (pubescent) younger stems and heart-shaped (cordate) or three-lobed leaves. Flowers are 3-5 cm long with strongly curved sepals about 20 mm long and it often produces capsules containing four to six hairless seeds.

Habitat

Ipomoea cairica can be found growing in natural and disturbed forests, sunny meadows, sand dunes, open woodlands, coastal thickets, cliff faces, riparian forests, lake shores, swampy grasslands, stony grassy slopes, sunny mountainsides, forest edges, ruderal areas, roadsides, waste land, rubbish dumps, car yards, cultivated areas and abandoned farmlands at low to middle elevations. According to Wagner et al. (1999), I. cairica in Hawaii is a naturalized species in primarily open, dry, usually rocky, often disturbed areas, from near sea level to elevations of 670 m. Introduced in Fiji as a cultivated plant this species is now an often locally abundant weed near sea level in open places, along roadsides, on open slopes and in gardens (Smith, 1991). In New Caledonia, I. cairica is widely distributed in secondary thickets and forest edges (MacKee, 1994). It is often planted as an ornamental in gardens, fences and coastal regions (Queensland Government, 2018; Liu et al., 2016; ISSG, 2019Maimela and Gumede, 2019; Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2020; NZPCN, 2020).

Habitat List

CategorySub categoryHabitatPresenceStatus
TerrestrialTerrestrial – ManagedDisturbed areasPresent, no further detailsHarmful (pest or invasive)
TerrestrialTerrestrial – ManagedDisturbed areasPresent, no further detailsNatural
TerrestrialTerrestrial – ManagedDisturbed areasPresent, no further detailsProductive/non-natural
TerrestrialTerrestrial – ManagedRail / roadsidesPresent, no further detailsHarmful (pest or invasive)
TerrestrialTerrestrial – ManagedRail / roadsidesPresent, no further detailsNatural
TerrestrialTerrestrial – ManagedRail / roadsidesPresent, no further detailsProductive/non-natural
TerrestrialTerrestrial – ManagedUrban / peri-urban areasPresent, no further detailsHarmful (pest or invasive)
TerrestrialTerrestrial – ManagedUrban / peri-urban areasPresent, no further detailsNatural
TerrestrialTerrestrial – ManagedUrban / peri-urban areasPresent, no further detailsProductive/non-natural
TerrestrialTerrestrial ‑ Natural / Semi-naturalNatural forestsPresent, no further detailsHarmful (pest or invasive)
TerrestrialTerrestrial ‑ Natural / Semi-naturalNatural forestsPresent, no further detailsNatural
TerrestrialTerrestrial ‑ Natural / Semi-naturalNatural forestsPresent, no further detailsProductive/non-natural
TerrestrialTerrestrial ‑ Natural / Semi-naturalNatural grasslandsPresent, no further detailsHarmful (pest or invasive)
TerrestrialTerrestrial ‑ Natural / Semi-naturalNatural grasslandsPresent, no further detailsNatural
TerrestrialTerrestrial ‑ Natural / Semi-naturalNatural grasslandsPresent, no further detailsProductive/non-natural
TerrestrialTerrestrial ‑ Natural / Semi-naturalRiverbanksPresent, no further detailsHarmful (pest or invasive)
TerrestrialTerrestrial ‑ Natural / Semi-naturalRiverbanksPresent, no further detailsNatural
TerrestrialTerrestrial ‑ Natural / Semi-naturalRiverbanksPresent, no further detailsProductive/non-natural
TerrestrialTerrestrial ‑ Natural / Semi-naturalWetlandsPresent, no further detailsHarmful (pest or invasive)
TerrestrialTerrestrial ‑ Natural / Semi-naturalWetlandsPresent, no further detailsNatural
TerrestrialTerrestrial ‑ Natural / Semi-naturalWetlandsPresent, no further detailsProductive/non-natural
TerrestrialTerrestrial ‑ Natural / Semi-naturalRocky areas / lava flowsPresent, no further detailsHarmful (pest or invasive)
TerrestrialTerrestrial ‑ Natural / Semi-naturalRocky areas / lava flowsPresent, no further detailsNatural
TerrestrialTerrestrial ‑ Natural / Semi-naturalRocky areas / lava flowsPresent, no further detailsProductive/non-natural
TerrestrialTerrestrial ‑ Natural / Semi-naturalScrub / shrublandsPresent, no further detailsHarmful (pest or invasive)
TerrestrialTerrestrial ‑ Natural / Semi-naturalScrub / shrublandsPresent, no further detailsNatural
TerrestrialTerrestrial ‑ Natural / Semi-naturalScrub / shrublandsPresent, no further detailsProductive/non-natural
Littoral Coastal areasPresent, no further detailsHarmful (pest or invasive)
Littoral Coastal areasPresent, no further detailsNatural
Littoral Coastal areasPresent, no further detailsProductive/non-natural
Littoral Coastal dunesPresent, no further detailsHarmful (pest or invasive)
Littoral Coastal dunesPresent, no further detailsNatural
Littoral Coastal dunesPresent, no further detailsProductive/non-natural

Biology and Ecology

Genetics

The chromosome number reported for I. cairica is 2n = 30 (Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2020).

Reproductive Biology

Ipomoea cairica has bisexual flowers that are visited by bees [Apidae], flies [Diptera] and butterflies [Lepidoptera]. In China, carpenter bees (Xylocopa spp.) have been reported as the most effective pollinator. Controlled hand self-pollination studies by Jia et al. (2007) showed that I. cairica is self-incompatible as reflected by an absence of fruit set in the flowers, with fruits and viable seeds only being produced following cross-pollination. Fruit set failure following spontaneous self-pollination in I. cairica was also noted by Maimoni-Rodella et al. (1982).

Physiology and Phenology

Ipomoea cairica produces flowers all year round (Jia et al., 2007; Queensland Government, 2018). Wang et al. (2011) compared seed germination, growth rates and leachate phytotoxicity of I. cairica at 22, 26 and 30°C. Seed germination rates were 11.6%, 21.2% and 26.4%, respectively, while the phytotoxicity of aqueous leachates from fresh leaves varied depending on receptor plants with the strongest phytotoxic effects observed at the highest temperature (30°C).

Longevity

Ipomoea cairica is a perennial fast-growing vine. This species is adapted to grow in area with extreme seasonal fluctuations and because of its tuberous roots, it has been observed that the top part of the plant may die and later resprouts when environmental conditions are favourable (Weber, 2003; Maimela and Gumede, 2019).

Environmental Requirements

Ipomoea cairica prefers to grow in warm climates across tropical, subtropical and warmer temperate regions at elevations ranging from near sea level up to 2000 m. It may thrive in areas with full sunlight or even in light shade. It is adapted to a wide range of soil types including sandy loam, clay, salty or brackish soils and sand dunes (PIER, 2018; Queensland Government, 2018; Maimela and Gumede, 2019; Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2020).

Climate

Climate typeDescriptionPreferred or toleratedRemarks
Am - Tropical monsoon climateTropical monsoon climate ( < 60mm precipitation driest month but > (100 - [total annual precipitation(mm}/25]))Preferred 
As - Tropical savanna climate with dry summer< 60mm precipitation driest month (in summer) and < (100 - [total annual precipitation{mm}/25])Preferred 
Aw - Tropical wet and dry savanna climate< 60mm precipitation driest month (in winter) and < (100 - [total annual precipitation{mm}/25])Preferred 
BS - Steppe climate> 430mm and < 860mm annual precipitationTolerated 
BW - Desert climate< 430mm annual precipitationTolerated 
Cs - Warm temperate climate with dry summerWarm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry summersPreferred 
Cw - Warm temperate climate with dry winterWarm temperate climate with dry winter (Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry winters)Preferred 
Cf - Warm temperate climate, wet all yearWarm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, wet all yearPreferred 

Latitude/Altitude Ranges

Latitude North (°N)Latitude South (°S)Altitude lower (m)Altitude upper (m)
3535  

Air Temperature

ParameterLower limit (°C)Upper limit (°C)
Mean annual temperature830

Rainfall Regime

Summer
Winter
Bimodal
Uniform

Soil Tolerances

Soil texture > heavy
Soil texture > light
Soil texture > medium
Soil texture
Soil reaction > acid
Soil reaction > alkaline
Soil reaction > neutral
Soil drainage > free
Special soil tolerances > saline

List of Pests

This content is currently unavailable.

Notes on Natural Enemies

The first occurrence of three phytophagus mites (Brevipalpus phoenicis, Tetranychus urticae and Polyphagotarsonemus latus) on the leaves of I. cairica in Parana, Brazil, was reported by Maia and Buzzi (2006).

Natural enemies

Natural enemyTypeLife stagesSpecificityReferencesBiological control inBiological control on
Brevipalpus phoenicis (false spider mite)Herbivore
Leaves
   
Tetranychus urticae (two-spotted spider mite)Herbivore
Leaves
   
Polyphagotarsonemus latus (broad mite)Herbivore
Leaves
   

Impact Summary

CategoryImpact
Cultural/amenityPositive
Economic/livelihoodPositive
Environment (generally)Positive and negative
Human healthPositive

Impact: Economic

Ipomoea cairica is a problematic plant in gardens, parks, forests, plantations, orchards and tea and nursery gardens. It can grow rapidly and vigorously, overwhelming smaller gardens and other ornamental plants. Once established, I. cairica is expensive and difficult to eradicate (Santos-Guerra et al., 2014;Maimela and Gumede, 2019).

Impact: Environmental

Ipomoea cairica is currently listed as a noxious weed in Thailand, Vietnam, the southern USA, Central and South America and as invasive and seriously harmful to the environment in southern China, Japan, Australia, Singapore, the Canary Islands, Cuba and on many islands in the Pacific region. This fast-growing invasive vine has the potential to smother native vegetation, and alter and disrupt native ecosystems by reducing biodiversity and modifying successional processes. I. cairica spreads quickly either forming a dense mat along the ground or climbing over trees into the canopy with negative impacts for host trees and also for plant species in the understorey. Its trailing and climbing stems curl around neighbouring support plants smothering and killing native shrubs and trees and limiting the sunlight reaching plant species in the understorey; displacement of native animals can also occur due to habitat destruction (Weber, 2003Chong et al., 2009Oviedo Prieto and González-Oliva, 2015Liu et al., 2016PIER, 2018Queensland Government, 2018ISSG, 2019Maimela and Gumede, 2019USDA-NRCS, 2020).
Ipomoea cairica is also regarded a serious problem in coastal forests, sandy beachfronts and wetlands (Weber, 2003; Liu et al., 2016; PIER, 2018; Queensland Government, 2018; ISSG, 2019Maimela and Gumede, 2019).

Risk and Impact Factors

Invasiveness

Proved invasive outside its native range
Has a broad native range
Abundant in its native range
Highly adaptable to different environments
Is a habitat generalist
Tolerates, or benefits from, cultivation, browsing pressure, mutilation, fire etc
Pioneering in disturbed areas
Tolerant of shade
Benefits from human association (i.e. it is a human commensal)
Long lived
Fast growing
Gregarious
Reproduces asexually

Impact outcomes

Host damage
Modification of successional patterns
Monoculture formation
Reduced native biodiversity
Threat to/ loss of native species

Impact mechanisms

Competition - monopolizing resources
Competition - shading
Competition - smothering
Rapid growth
Rooting

Likelihood of entry/control

Highly likely to be transported internationally accidentally
Highly likely to be transported internationally deliberately
Difficult to identify/detect in the field
Difficult/costly to control

Uses

Ipomoea cairica is grown as a garden ornamental. It is often used as a screening plant by allowing the vine to twist and climb along a trellis or fences and walls. It is also used as ground cover. The entire plant is used in traditional African and Asian medicine for treating external infections, body rashes and fever. It is also used in Brazilian folk medicine to treat rheumatism and inflammation (Ferreira et al., 2006). In Africa, most parts of the plant have been recorded as edible with the leaves eaten when still young and roots cooked before consumption. Fibres from the stems are made into sponges (Queensland Government, 2018; Maimela and Gumede, 2019; Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2020; USDA-ARS, 2020; Useful Tropical Plants, 2020).

Uses List

Ornamental
Ornamental > Christmas tree
Ornamental > Cut flower
Ornamental > garden plant
Ornamental > Potted plant
Ornamental > Propagation material
Ornamental > Seed trade
Medicinal, pharmaceutical > Traditional/folklore
Environmental > Amenity
Materials > Fibre
Human food and beverage > Root crop
Human food and beverage > Vegetable

Prevention and Control

Due to the variable regulations around (de)registration of pesticides, your national list of registered pesticides or relevant authority should be consulted to determine which products are legally allowed for use in your country when considering chemical control. Pesticides should always be used in a lawful manner, consistent with the product's label.
Li et al. (2015) have proposed replacement control using valuable native species such as Pueraria lobata [Pueraria montana var. lobata] and Paederia scandens [Paederia foetida] as a potentially feasible and sustainable means of suppressing I. cairica.

Physical/Mechanical Control

Small infestations can be removed manually using a brush hook or similar tool. However, all roots and all stems touching the ground must be removed. For larger infestations with many stems, cutting and subsequent applications of herbicides are required (Weber, 2003; Queensland Government, 2018).

Chemical Control

Herbicides such as 2,4-D amine, dicamba and glyphosate have been recommended for the control of areas invaded by I. cairica in Australia (NSW Department of Primary Industries, 2018). Chemical control can be carried out by cutting vines at breast height, laying the lower portions on the ground and spraying them with herbicide. Regular monitoring of treated areas is necessary to control any new seedlings or regrowth (Weber, 2003; Queensland Government, 2018). Ethephon has been proposed as an alternative herbicide for the control of I. cairica (Sun et al., 2015).

Links to Websites

NameURLComment
GISD/IASPMR: Invasive Alien Species Pathway Management Resource and DAISIE European Invasive Alien Species Gatewayhttps://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.m93f6Data source for updated system data added to species habitat list.

References

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Ferreira, A. A., Amaral, F. A., Duarte, I. D. G., Oliveira, P. M., Alves, R. B., Silveira, D., Azevedo, A. O., Raslan, D. S., Castro, M. S. A., 2006. Antinociceptive effect from Ipomoea cairica extract.Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 105(1/2) 148-153.
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Published online: 3 May 2020

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Julissa Rojas-Sandoval

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