Monographs Details: Ipomoea cathartica Poir.
Authority: Britton, Nathaniel L. Flora Borinqueña.
Description:Species Description - This is the most abundant of the large, purple-flowered Ipomoeas at lower and middle elevations in Porto Rico, also on the small islands Vieques and Culebra, and was supposed by authors of the last century to be restricted in distribution to this island and given the specific name portoricensis, but was subsequently found to be distributed nearly throughout tropical America, north to Florida, Bermuda, and Panama. It grows in thickets, on banks and in waste and cultivated grounds in moist and relatively dry districts, ascending to about 600 meters elevation.
An account of the genus may be found with our description of Ipomoea polyanthes.
Ipomoea cathartica (purgative) is a twining, slender, smooth, or minutely hairy vine, from 1 to about 5 meters long, or longer. The broadly ovate, stalked, pointed leaves from 5 to 9 centimeters long, have a heart-shaped base and are unlobed, or 3-lobed. The flowers are borne solitary, or few together, on a stalk usually shorter than the subtending leaf-stalk; the lance-shaped, long-pointed sepals are from 1 to 2 centimeters long; the pink-purple, or crimson corolla, usually with a white tube, is from 5 to 7 centimeters long and from 6 to 8 centimeters wide. The nearly spherical capsule is about 10 millimeters in diameter, the seeds smooth.
Vines bearing flowers purple to the base were observed on a bank between Coamo and Aibonito.
Discussion:Bejuco de gloria
Common Purple Morning-glory
Ipomoea cathartica Poiret, in Lamarck, Encyclopédie Méthodique Botanique Supplement 4: 633. 1816.
Convolvulus portoricensis Sprengel, Systema Vegetabilium 1: 595. 1825.
Ipomoea portoricensis G. Don, General History of Plants 4: 278. 1838.