Christmas Vine
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Christmas Vine
P Naturalized Photo: Varun Sharma
Common name: Christmas Vine, Christmasvine
Botanical name: Ipomoea corymbosa    Family: Convolvulaceae (Morning glory family)
Synonyms: Ipomoea burmanni, Convolvulus corymbosus, Rivea corymbosa

Christmas Vine is a prominently woody climber, climbing up to 7 m, with creamish bell-shaped flowers with oblong dry-papery sepals, borne in corymbs. The flowers are deceptively similar to those of Obscure Morning Glory, but can be distinguished by their translucent sepals. In addition, the plant is much bigger. Flowers are 2.5-3 cm, funnel-shaped, cream with dark centre and yellow mid-petal bands, hairless, limb about 1.5-2 cm in diameter. Sepals are slightly unequal, oblong, blunt, nearly completely papery, hairless, outer 1-1.1 cm, inner 1.1-1.4 cm. Flowers are borne in lax compound cymes at branch-ends on the main stem and on lateral branchlets 5-20 cm long; secondary flower-cluster-stalks 1-5 cm, bracteoles about 2 mm, scale-like; flower-stalks 7-17 mm. Leaves are stalked, 4-10 x 3-9 cm, ovate, heart-shaped with rounded ears, narrowed to an blunt, shortly with a short sharp point tip, hairless or (rarely) velvet-hairy, below paler; leaf-stalks 2-5 cm. Capsules are narrowly ovoid, 11-14 x 3-4 mm, hairless, style persistent. Christmas Vine is native to Mexico to Tropical America, naturalized in Maharashtra and Karnataka.

Identification credit: Varun Sharma Photographed in Nashik, Maharashtra.

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