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PlantFiles: Mile A Minute Vine, Messina Creeper, Ivy-leaved Morning Glory
Ipomoea cairica

Family: Convolvulaceae (kon-volv-yoo-LAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Ipomoea (ip-oh-MEE-a) (Info)
Species: cairica (KY-rik-uh) (Info)

Synonym:Convolvulus cairicus
Synonym:Ipomoea palmata
Synonym:Ipomoea pulchella
Synonym:Convolvulus heptaphyllus

10 members have or want this plant for trade.

Vines and Climbers

8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

Unknown - Tell us

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Blooms all year

Unknown - Tell us

Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; germinate in vitro in gelatin, agar or other medium

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

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3 positives
3 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive khabbab On Jul 13, 2009, khabbab from lahore
Pakistan (Zone 10b) wrote:

In lahore, pakistan this is an evergreen vine. Grows like crazy and blooms from March till october off and on. It does better in soil bed than in pot. I have it growing in a clay pot and it has not bloomed yet. It is 1 feet high now. Does not need much water or fert. We call it railway creeper here. Another name here in urdu is "Ishq Peechan"

Positive Gourd On Aug 30, 2005, Gourd from Mesilla Park, NM wrote:

This plant came to me rooted from a cutting. It has taken 1 plus years for it to bloom.

I love the colors and the cluster of flowers it forms. It is doing very well in a one gallon pot where it has lived for over a year, it will be repotted this fall. Have had it in full sun, but moved it today to photograph it.

The weather here has been between 100-108 degrees the past few weeks. It sure has taken a beating. If you keep it watered enough, it should withstand the heat.

Neutral Monocromatico On Mar 11, 2005, Monocromatico from Rio de Janeiro
Brazil (Zone 11) wrote:

This Ipomoea is a common volunteer pretty most everywhere I have been here in Brazil. When left alone, it will grow so much it will cover everything, from the ground to a medium sized tree foliage. When it gets large enough to cover bushes and trees, it becomes a problem, as its leaves block the sun, weakening those bushes and trees. So if you want to keep it, stay alert. The flowers are pretty, though.

Neutral NatureWalker On Feb 21, 2005, NatureWalker from New York & Terrell, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

A perennial trailing or climbing vine to (5 meters) 15 feet.
Stems hairless, readily set roots when in touch with the earth.
Leaves hairless up to (9cm) about 3 & 5/8 inches long with 5 to 7 lobes, middle lobe the largest.
Flowers purple, pink or whitish pink, to (8cm) about 3 & 1/2 inches across, solitary or in groups of 2 to 3.
Fruit a 4-valved capsule, about (1cm) 1/2 inch across, each valve with 1 seed. Seed is orange colored, with wispy hairs attached. Spread by wind, water and humans.

Status: Nominated Noxious W4g by:
An initiative of the NSW North Coast Weeds Advisory Committee (NCWAC).

Status location: All North Coast LGA's
Native to: Tropical Africa & Asia

But I love it anyway.

Positive FranciscoSantos On Nov 5, 2004, FranciscoSantos from Braslia
Brazil wrote:

Very beautiful foliage. I have tihs plant for not too long but it is doing well; I am growing it in a vase against my kennel's fence and in about a month it i has spreaded about two meters or more. It will get much larger because all cairicas do so. Easy to grow from seed but everybody should know members of the Convolvulaceae may present dormancy in seeds( try scarifying with sand paper or chemically with bleach for a few days or less).

Neutral ideboda On Dec 15, 2003, ideboda from T-village ;) - Friesland
Netherlands (Zone 6a) wrote:

From a morningglory-fan in England I got some seeds of this plant, he said its name was Ipomoea hochstetteri. Original habitat: Southern Africa.
A special detail is the way the seeds grow, and what they look like. I got some real orange hairy seeds, planted them in early spring, and these plants with elegant hand-shaped leaves (called I. cairica in most sources) emerged.
From England I got the information that the seeds would give a greater show than the flowers, because when ripe the bright orange hairy balls would hang from the opened fruits for some time, on very thin threads. A bit like Euonymus fruits I supposed, though those aren't hairy.
Alas, though flowering was reasonably successful for the temperate zone where I live (in the Netherlands, but we had an almost tropical summer in 2003), the seeds didn't give a show at all. I managed to save some, but the fruits didn't appear till September, when the weather already had become a lot cooler and wetter again just as it should be with us, and so they didn't open spontaneously and the seeds rotted when not picked in time.
Moreover, the seeds I caught were paler, more cream-colored than orange.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Moreno Valley, California
Spring Valley, California
Tampa, Florida
Zephyrhills, Florida
Scio, Oregon
Westmoreland, Tennessee

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