Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Lavender Moonvine, Lavender Moonflower
Ipomoea muricata

Family: Convolvulaceae (kon-volv-yoo-LAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Ipomoea (ip-oh-MEE-a) (Info)
Species: muricata (mur-ee-KAY-tuh) (Info)

Synonym:Ipomoea turbinata
Synonym:Ipomoea petiolaris
Synonym:Calonyction muricatum
Synonym:Convolvulus muricatus
Synonym:Calonyction speciosum var. muricatum

3 vendors have this plant for sale.

28 members have or want this plant for trade.

Vines and Climbers

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

9-12 in. (22-30 cm)

Not Applicable

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

Seed is poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Late Summer/Early Fall


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
This plant is suitable for growing indoors
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Suitable for growing in containers

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; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

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By noxiousweed
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By OhioBreezy
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There are a total of 16 photos.
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11 positives
1 neutral
2 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive LizaR On Nov 2, 2014, LizaR from Gap, PA wrote:

I ordered the white moonvine (impomoea alba) and received 5 of these as free seed. I started them indoors last March, and since they were collected seeds sold to me by a fellow garden junkie (not shipped from a seed company) I soaked them in hydrogen peroxide for 20 minutes to remove any fungal / bacterial pathogens. I then scarified the very hard seed coat with a knife, nicking just above the eye on the seed as that is where the root emerges. (I tried using a nail file but the seed coats were so hard that method proved too tedious.) I then soaked seeds overnight and they swelled quickly. Planted them in peat pots with moist seed starter soil and 3 were up in the first week, one took 12 days and the other 16 days. I had a pretty easy time germinating these, as they can take from 3 days up to 3 weeks to sprout. I'm in zone 6 so planted them outdoors in mid May after hardening off, and within a couple weeks they simply took off. I just kept them watered until they got fully established outside. The blooms are about 2 to 2 1/2 inches and the color is gorgeous, along with the heart shaped leaves and faux thorny spikes that are soft to touch.
Regarding color, 3 had sun all day long and remained the lavender color. I had 2 that got a little morning shade and about two hours of afternoon shade, and those turned a more pink color. But either way they are really beautiful and the frost just got to them last night. They grew 15 to 18 feet for me, though they did not spread as wide as some morning glories do at that height. I collected my own seeds from them this year as they re-seeded heavily. Nice that the seeds do not have to be stratified before germination next spring.

Positive sgvparel On May 5, 2012, sgvparel from Cameron Park, TX wrote:

Hello! I am from Kerala, India and there - if I am not mistaken - we use the fruit part of this plant as a vegetable. We use them when it is tender and it has a green stem with white colored bulb at the end. I purchased some flower seeds (morning glory and others) from summer hill seeds and they sent me this as a gift! Boy was I in for a surprise when I saw the seeds! I have longed for this plant and I was checking this site for this plant. Anyway in India, we call this clove beans as it is a bigger form of a clove. I am going to plant this and see how it turns out! So far the search on the Internet and the pics from this site has helped almost confirm that this is the same clove beans we have in India. I am not going to ask anyone who has this plant to confirm by cooking it or anything as this site lists it as poisonous.

Positive ransom3 On Apr 28, 2011, ransom3 from Zephyrhills, FL wrote:

Pretty! I look forward to any volunteer seedlings coming up.I did not make the mistake of planting it in an area where it would become a problem. Also any morning glory planted in a pot on a porch will be a "spider mite magnet".

Positive ahanna On Jul 14, 2010, ahanna from Dallas, TX wrote:

This plant (Ipomoea muricata) is also known as clove bean, and it is a vegetable in India and surrounding regions. This is not sold in grocery stores but people grow it in their garden, and is supposed to be a very healthy vegetable and cooked as stir fries, made similar to eggplants or okkra. Here's a link to learn more about this vegetable.

I am confused about this being listed as poisonous here. Please clarify. Thank you.

Positive pamalamb On Jun 25, 2008, pamalamb from Ronkonkoma, NY wrote:

Non-invasive here on Long Island, NY (zone 7b) - but I can understand why this is a pest in warmer parts of the country! On hot days it seems to double in length. I only grow it in pots but it has managed to re-seed for several years now. Nice flowers.

Positive gardenbugde On Sep 30, 2007, gardenbugde from Smyrna, DE (Zone 7a) wrote:

I'm so glad I got to try this one. I planted one plant with 2 white moonvines at the bottom of my front porch railing. The flowers are small, but pretty. Also, there is no scent to them, which was a bit of a disappointment to me, but the color is very pretty. Seeds are black (or at least a very dark brown), and look like small coffee beans when completely dried. If you plant these with the white ones, at least it's easy to tell the two apart when you collect them! Easy to start, easy to grow and would recommend to anyone who loves lavender!

Update 8/31/08: I have had these for 2 seasons now- I am getting TONS of seeds and will be willing to share. I'm still disappointed that there's no scent to them, but the color is so pretty that I'm beginning not to mind so much.

Positive Levdrakon On Jul 20, 2007, Levdrakon from Colorado Springs, CO (Zone 5a) wrote:

A friend sent me a packet of seeds from her garden last year. She knew I was after moonflower vines. Oops, she got her seeds mixed up.

My first four blooms just opened this afternoon and they're Ipomoea turbinata, not the regular white moonflowers. Luckily, I planted some *real* white moonflowers at the end of the patio, from a seed packet I bought at the store. But darn it, I wanted white ones where I sit at night.

Anyway, the seeds look just like moonflower seeds, and nicking & soaking them overnight will result in their plumping up and almost doubling in size. Then they're ready to plant. I started these seeds the first or second week of May, and the first flowers just opened today, July 19. The germination times can vary quite a bit though. Most came up the first week, some a few weeks later, and one just came up the other day.

I was wondering what the little thorns all over the stems were for. They're too soft for protection. Then I noticed one of these I'd planted at the base of a tree and those soft "thorns" are perfect for helping the vine get a grip on a tree trunk which is too thick for it to quickly wind itself around.

Well, that's my theory anyway.

Negative Calalily On Oct 11, 2005, Calalily from Deep South Coastal, TX (Zone 10a) wrote:

This vine gets huge, not a lot of flowers at one time, but reseeds everywhere and is a spider mite magnet.

Negative cherishlife On Nov 12, 2004, cherishlife from Pocola, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

The USDA has this plant listed as a noxious weed for the following states. It's even prohibited in Arizona.

Positive onalee On Oct 3, 2004, onalee from Brooksville, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

Very fast growing vine with profuse blooms. Does best in my area in partial shade, but will grow in full sun. My vines got easily 15' long! Lots of seed pods and easy to harvest! Beautiful flowers that look more like a light or dusky pink or perhaps lilac color. The hawkmoths LOVED them!

Positive OhioBreezy On Sep 14, 2004, OhioBreezy from Dundee, OH (Zone 5b) wrote:

A really nice shade of "pink" I have found, moreso than purple. I also grow Ipomoea turbinata (lavender moonvine) and it is definitely more of a purple than this one. This one is growing up 25 plus feet this year at my place. Seedpods are enormous and many. Seeds are black!

Neutral bluespiral On Sep 5, 2004, bluespiral from (Zone 7a) wrote:

I have not grown this plant, but in "Flowers" by Pizzetti and Cocker (1968), a "purplish" moonflower, "...not more than 3" in diameter...", is mentioned, called Calonyction muricatum. In Hortus III (1976), the name has changed to Ipomoea muricata. From the image in this database, it looks like the purple changes to a bluish pink as it ages.

As to origin of I. muricata, Hortus III says, "Probably native to American tropics; now escaped from cultivation in the tropics of both hemispheres."

Positive OhioBreezy On Jul 7, 2004, OhioBreezy from Dundee, OH (Zone 5b) wrote:

A rather fast grower, vines up to around 8 feet. Does not do alot of spreading, flowers beautiful lavender in color with a little shade given, however, in full sun, the color of the bloom leans more toward a washed out pink color. Blooms last all day on an overcast day, usually blooming near evening and gone by mid morning, unless like I said, a cloudy or overcast day where they will remain open all day long.

Positive amazin On Jun 4, 2004, amazin from Hazleton, PA wrote:

This vine has reseeded itself for me for 5 years. With each succeeding year, it has climbed further. At the end of Sept 2003, it had reached past my second floor windows- (I draped kite string out the top of my second floor windows to the ground).** Note**- I find the more you neglect this vine, the more blooms.Fertilizing gives vigorous foliage growth.
If left to reseed itself, be diligent about removing stray vines, they WILL take over.


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

Tuskegee, Alabama
Dinuba, California
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Smyrna, Delaware
Brooksville, Florida
Deland, Florida
Fountain, Florida
Lake Worth, Florida
Zephyrhills, Florida
Barnesville, Georgia
Pukalani, Hawaii
Barbourville, Kentucky
Prospect, Kentucky
Smiths Grove, Kentucky
Mathiston, Mississippi
Dundee, Ohio
Scio, Oregon
Brookhaven, Pennsylvania
Carlisle, Pennsylvania
Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Lafayette, Tennessee
Jacksonville, Texas
Magnolia, Texas

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