Railway Creeper
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Railway Creeper
ative Photo: Tabish
Common name: Cairo Morning Glory, Messina Creeper, Ivy-leaved Morning Glory, Coastal Morning Glory, Railway creeper, Mile a Minute Vine • Hindi: नीली बेल Neeli Bel • Kannada: ಬೆಕ್ಕಿನ ಹೆಜ್ಜೆ ಬಳ್ಳಿ Bekkina Hejje Balli ಕೊತ್ತಿಹೆಜ್ಜೆಬಳ್ಳಿ Kotti hejje balli • Manpuri: ꯁꯤꯉꯥ সিংগা Singa • Marathi: गारवेल Garvel, भोवरा Bhovara • Malayalam: കൊലമ്ബിപൂ Kolambipoo
Botanical name: Ipomoea cairica    Family: Convolvulaceae (Morning glory family)

One of the commonest yet most useful of the evergreen creepers, refreshing the eve in the hottest weather with its clear, green leaves and delicate, mauve blooms, the Railway Creeper is found in gardens, villages, and on practically every railway station, thus earning for itself its nickname. This morning glory vine is beautiful, climbing on to whatever it finds - the purple flower studded vine wrapped around bending bamboo stems, is a pleasing sight. Its stem is hairless, readily set roots when in touch with the earth. This species can be identified by its leaves which are hairless to 9cm long with 5-7 lobes, middle lobe the largest. Flowers purple, pink or rarely pinkish white, to 8cm across, solitary or in groups of 2-3. Fruit a 4-valved capsule, about 1cm across, each valve with 1 seed. Seed with wispy hairs attached. Spread by wind, water and humans.

Identification credit: Tabish Photographed in Imphal, Manipur

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