This vine comes from tropical America and tropical Asia. It is seen growing to the top of the tree canopy and forming a dense blanket of foliage over all vegetation. It invades fragile creeklines growing rapidly to the canopy, blocking light, reducing photosynthesis, encouraging disease, preventing germination, breaking down trees. Very common in suburban gullies, roadsides, and disturbed rainforest. Also a weed of summer crops.
Photo: Robert Whyte
Flower (growing on Rhodamnia)
Leaves can be heart-shaped to three lobed, to roughly 15 cm in diameter. Arranged alternately with petioles to 18 cm long. Both surfaces softly hairy, more so underneath. Flowers are tubular, bright blue to blue-purple with a whitish central tube. Flowers form in clusters but can be seen singly. The flower may fade to pink. Fruits are papery capsules about 1cm across containing many seeds. A declared species in NSW. Morning glory is sometimes better left on otherwise bare creek banks until you have some young trees up. Just make sure it is kept away from the trees you plant.
Photo: Robert Whyte This Morning Glory is growing through a Scrub Turpentine (Rhodamnia rubescens) in bud.
Leaf shapes and notes on toxicity
This photograph taken at Walton Bridge shows three leaf shapes, all common. These leaves were adjacent on the stem, ranging from heart shaped and entire to strongly lobed. Hairy stems are usually twining and can extend over great distances, even along the ground. Milky sap can be seen exuding when the stem is cut. In this photo you can just see the hairy stem in the top left hand corner. Little is known about the toxicity of the Blue Morning Glory Ipomoea indica but some species of Ipomoea are known to be hallucinogenic such as I. violacea. Seeds of I. violacea contain d-lysergic acid and its derivatives. It is thought that all cultivars of I. violacea are hallucinogenic. There is record of a 24-year-old man who chewed 300 morning glory seeds (equivalent to 6 times the effective dose of LSD) and because of the recurrent effects, killed himself.
Photo: Robert Whyte