Ipomoea pandurata the Wild Potato Vine, Big-rooted Morning Glory or Man-of-the-Earth is a species of herbaceous perennial vine. Another common name is “manroot“, but that typically refers to the quite unrelated gourd genus Marah.
It is rarely cultivated but grows wild in North America appearing along roadsides, in fields and along fence rows. It sustains itself over the winter with a tuberous root similar to its better known relative, the Sweet Potato (I. batatas).
(From Wikipedia.org, June 24 2010)
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This native perennial plant consists of a twining vine up to 20-30′ long. It will climb adjacent vegetation readily, or sprawl across the ground in open areas. The stems are usually hairless, but sometimes pubescent, and often reddish purple. Along the stems are alternate leaves up to 6″ long and 4″ across. These leaves are usually cordate and hairless, although sometimes the smaller leaves are ovate. They have long petioles and smooth margins. From the upper axil of the leaves, a flowering stalk may appear with 1-5 funnelform flowers. The corolla of these flowers is white, except for rosy pink or reddish purple coloration deep within the throat. The corolla has 5 shallow lobes; it is about 3″ across when fully open. The stamens of the flower are white; they project slightly from the throat. The blunt sepals are light green, hairless, and about ½¾” long. These flowers bloom during the morning (or during the afternoon on cloudy days), and are individually short-lived. However, a typical plant will bloom for about 2 months during mid- to late summer. Each flower is replaced by a 2-celled capsule containing from 2-4 seeds. These flat seeds are conspicuously hairy along the edges, and pubescent elsewhere. The root system produces large tubers that can lie several feet beneath the ground surface and weigh up to 20-30 lb.
(From Illinois Wildflowers via Encyclopedia of Life, June 24 2010)
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