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P Introduced Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Redstar, Red morning glory, Scarlet creeper
Botanical name: Ipomoea rubriflora    Family: Convolvulaceae (Morning glory family)
Synonyms: Ipomoea coccinea L., Convolvulus coccineus, Quamoclit coccinea

Redstar is a fast growing, twining, twisting, beautiful flowering vine that is a butterfly attractor. It is quite easily mistaken for Cypress Vine, as the flowers of the two are closely similar. But one look at the leaves is enough to distinguish them. The flowers are dull red or orange-red. Redstar flowers are borne in in leaf-axils clusters of a half dozen or so. Individual flowers have the typical morning glory shape, but are quite small with a narrow tube around 4 cm long and an expanded flower a little less than 2.5 cm across. The vine can reach 10 or more feet in length. The alternate leaves are heart shaped at the base, and often with small lobes. The leaves of Cypress Vine, on the other hand, are fern-like. Leaves of Redstar are typically hairless, around 5-10 cm long and about half as wide. The margins are often coarsely toothed, and the tips are pointed. Redstar is also closely similar to Scarlet Morning Glory. However leaves of Scarlet Morning Glory are typically deeply 3-lobed. Redstar is endemic to Argentina and Bolivia, cultivated widely.

Identification credit: Tabish Photographed in Mussoorie, Uttarakhand.

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