Monographs Details: Ipomoea quinquefolia L.
Authority: Britton, Nathaniel L. Flora Borinqueña.
Description:Species Description - Quite different in aspect from many other kinds of morning-glories by its palmately divided leaves, and white flowers, and differing also in some characters of floral structure, this species has been classified, by students of the family, in several different genera, as the synonyms cited indicate. The genus Ipomoea, as defined by most recent botanical authors, comprising some 400 species, is complex, and their grouping might be more logical if classed in several genera rather than in a single, very large one. This slender, twining or trailing vine is distributed nearly all over the West Indies, except the Bahama Islands and the northern Lesser Antilles; it is common in the dry southwestern parts of Porto Rico, growing on banks and in thickets, mostly at low elevations, and has been observed as far north as Rincon on the western coast. A further account of the genus Ipomoea will be found with our description of Ipomoea polyanthes.
Ipomoea quinquefolia (referring to the 5-divided leaves) reaches a length of from 1 to 2 meters and is either smooth, or sparingly long-hairy. The slender stalked leaves are palmately divided into from 3 to 5, stalkless, pointed, toothed, oblong to oblong-lanceolate leaflets from 2 to 6 centimeters long. The flowers are few together in several stalked clusters, their individual stalks very slender; the oblong sepals are blunt, the lower ones from 6 to 8 millimeters long; the white, or pale yellow corolla is from 1.5 to 2 centimeters broad. The nearly globular capsule is from 8 to 10 millimeters in diameter, the seeds finely hairy.
Our illustration was first published in Addisonia, plate 384, December 1926.
Ipomoea quinquefolia Linnaeus, Species Plantarum 162. 1753.
Convolvulus quinquefolius Linnaeus, Systema Naturae, edition 10,923.1759.
Batatas quinquefolia Choisy, Convolvulaceae Rariores 127. 1828.
Merremia quinquefolia H. Hallier, Botanische Jahrbücher 16: 552. 1893.