Purple Moonflower
Share Foto info
Purple Moonflower
A Naturalized Photo: Sundara Bhat K
Common name: Purple Moonflower, Clove Bean, Lavender Moonvine, Lavender Moonflower, • Marathi: भिंगरी Bhingari, बारीक भोवरी Barik Bhovari • Nepali: लहरे साग Lahare sag • Tamil: Mookuthi avarai, Kattutalai, Mookkatthi-kkai • Telugu: Mookathikaya
Botanical name: Ipomoea muricata    Family: Convolvulaceae (Morning glory family)
Synonyms: Convolvulus muricatus, Ipomoea turbinata, Ipomoea shirensis

Purple Moonflower is an annual vine growing several meters high on trellises. Stems are herbaceous and rough due to the presence of many minute speculate protuberances growing from the epidermis. Leaves are simple, smooth, soft and entire, the base is heart-shaped, the lobes are rounded and the tip tapers into a short caudex. The light green palmately netted-veined blades are 4-9 cm wide and 6-10 cm long, while the leaf-stalks reach up to 10 cm in length. Inflorescence is in leaf-axils, one to few flowered. Each flower is perfect and is held by a flower-cluster-stalk somewhat shorter than the leaf-stalk. The flower which opens at night is pink-purple, bell-shaped and funnel-shaped. Fruit is a thin walled capsule, dehiscent by valves, ovoid with a diameter of 0.8-1.5 cm, 2-3 cm long. Two to four hairless, black colored seeds are found in each capsule. This is cultivated for ornament in several countries. In India its fruit is cooked as a vegetable, and is called Clove Bean. Purple Moonflower is native to Mexico to Tropical America, but now naturalized all over the tropical world. It is also found in the Himalayas, at altitudes of 910-1400 m.

Identification credit: Sundara Bhat K Photographed in Mangalore, Karnataka.

• Is this flower misidentified? If yes,