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Ipomoea pandurata   (L. ) G.F.W. Mey.
Cherokee County, Kansas
Height: Vine to 16 feet long
Family: Convolvulaceae - Morning Glory Family
Flowering Period:   May, June, July, August, September
Also Called: Man-of-the-earth, wild potato vine, sweet wild potato, indian potato, white potato vine.
Stems: Vine, trailing or twining, 16 inches to 16 feet long, nearly glabrous to sparsely and inconspicuously hairy; sap milky.
Leaves: Alternate, egg-shaped to heart-shaped, often fiddle-shaped, 1.2 to 4.8 inches long, .8 to 3.6 inches wide, glabrous to often soft-hairy beneath; margins entire; tip tapering to point; base deeply heart-shaped; stalk .4 to 3.2 inches long.
Inflorescences: Flowers, 1 to 7+ in loose cluster; stalk stout, stiff, 2 to 4+ inches long.
Flowers: Showy; sepals 5, leathery, not of similar size and shape, ovate or oblong, .5 to .8 inches long, strongly overlapping, glabrous; tips blunt to broadly rounded; outer sepals usually shorter and narrower; corollas funnel-shaped, shallowly 5-lobed, 2 to 3.2 inches long, 2.8 to 4 inches wide, white, tube purplish-red to lavender within; stamens 5, unequal, .8 to 1.2 inches long.
Fruits: Capsule, egg-shaped, .4 to .6 inches long, glabrous; seeds 1-4, oblong, about 1/3 inch long, brown, surface hairy, densely woolly on angles.
Habitat: Open disturbed areas, stream banks, woods, thickets, prairies, cultivated and fallow fields, pond and lake margins, ditches, roadsides; dry soils.
Distribution: East 1/3 of Kansas.
Toxicity: The roots have been reported to be mildly toxic.
Uses: Native Americans used the root as food. The root was also used medicinally to treat coughs, headaches, rheumatism, asthma, constipation, and abdominal pain.
Comments: The tuber-like root can be up to 2 feet long and weigh 25 pounds. It is deep and difficult to excavate. Bigroot morning-glory is related to the sweet potato or yam Ipomoea batatas. Morning-glory alludes to the tendency of the flowers in some Ipomoea species to open at night or in the morning.

Bigroot morning-glory corolla and sepals
48 KB
Cherokee County, Kansas
Bigroot morning-glory leaf
60 KB
Cherokee County, Kansas
bigroot morning-glory leaf
60 KB
Cherokee County, Kansas