Identification and Distribution of Morningglory Species in the Cotton Belt

C.D. Elmore


There are 12 species (Ipomoea) and related genera (Jacquemontia) infesting cotton as weeds in the United States Cotton Belt. Some of these have limited distribution, while others are widespread. The distribution of each species and the synonymy of species names no longer regarded as legitimate is discussed. The most widespread morningglory in the Cotton Belt is ivyleaf morningglory [I. hederacea (L.)Jacq.]. It is present in all regions of the cotton belt and is the dominant morningglory species in many of these regions. Woolly morningglory (I. hirsutula) is synonymous with ivyleaf morningglory (I. hederacea). A phenotype of ivyleaf morningglory is entireleaf morningglory, which is no longer regarded as a separate taxonomic variety. Entireleaf is identical to ivyleaf morningglory except for a single gene controlling leaf shape. Other widely distributed morningglories are tall [I. Purpurea (L.)Roth.] and pitted (I. lacunosa L.). Tall morningglory occurs in all regions, but is an important weed only in the Southeast and parts of the Mid-South. Pitted morningglory is present as a weed in all regions except the Texas High Plains and the irrigated Western U.S. Bigroot morningglory [I. pandurata (L.)G.F.Mey.) is widely distributed from the southeast west to Texas, but is rarely a serious weed problem in cotton; although it does occur in heavy concentrations within localized areas. Bigroot is one of the two perennial weedy morningglories species. Sharppod morningglory (I. cordatotriloba Dennst. var. cordatotriloba) occurs from North Carolina to Texas, but is mainly a weed problem in south Texas. Cotton morningglory [I. cordatotriloba var torrevana (Gray) Austin] has a more restrictive distribution and is not as widespread as a weed of cotton. Sharppod morningglory is the other perennial morningglory and can be a severe problem in cotton in the Brazos River bottom. A weedy morningglory related to sharppod is a hybrid between sharppod and pitted, pitted-sharppod hybrid complex (Ipomoea X leucantha Jacq.). This complex is a widespread weed basically in the range of pitted morningglory.

Palmleaf morningglory (I. wrightii Gray) is confined to the midsouth and more specifically to the heavier soils of the region, although its distribution may be spreading. Palmleaf, unlike the other morningglories which are native to the Americas, is a native of India. Purple moonflower (I. turbinata Lag.) also is apparently confined to the midsouth where it is a rare weed of cotton. cypressvine (I. auamoclit L.), red (I. coccinea L.), and ivyleaf red (I. hederifolia L.) morningglories are all similar in importance as a weed and in their distribution in the cotton belt. Each is present in the southeast and may be occasional weeds of cotton. They occur as far west as Arizona but will rarely be found as a weed there.

Small flower morningglory [Jacquemontia tamnifolia (L.)Griseb.] is a morningglory relative that is distributed throughout the Southeast and Mid-South.

Reprinted from 1990 Proceedings: Beltwide Cotton Production Research Conferences pg. 358
©National Cotton Council, Memphis TN

[Main TOC] | [TOC] | [TOC by Section] | [Search] | [Help]
Previous Page [Previous] [Next] Next Page
Document last modified Sunday, Dec 6 1998