Small White Morning Glory

Common Name: Small White Morning Glory.

Scientific Name: Ipomoea Lacunosa.

What to look for?  Lovely white funnel-like flowers seemingly popping up among other wildflowers. The Small White Morning Glory is a twining vine. The vine is green and slender and gently clings to other wildflowers. The medium green leaves are cordate or heart-shaped.  The Small White Morning Glory develops several white funnel-like flowers from a short stalk. If you look closely into the throat of each flower, there is a single white stigma, which is surrounded by several white stamens with purple or white anthers.

Where can they be found at Carillon Stonegate Pond? From summer and through October, you can find the Small White Morning Glory in bloom on its slender vines gently clinging to various wildflowers along the banks of Carillon Stonegate Ponds.

How big are they? As the name suggests, the flowers are small. But the vine of the Small White Morning Glory can grow to as much as seven feet long. The leaves are up to four inches long and up to two inches across. Each flower is about one inch long and nearly as wide.

Where do they grow and thrive? The Small White Morning Glory is native to the continental U.S. and is common across Illinois. Habitats include moist prairies, thickets, moist meadows near rivers, ponds or woodlands, areas along roadsides and railroads (why is it that anything and everything seems to grow along railroads?), and other disturbed habitats.

When do they bloom? The blooming period of the Small White Morning Glory occurs from summer into fall - June to October.

Do birds, insects or other wildlife associate with this plant? The flowers of the Small White Morning Glory attract primarily bumblebees and other longer-tongued bees for its nectar. The large seeds are consumed by only gamebirds such as Ring-Necked Pheasant. Other animals do not feed on this plant because the foliage is somewhat toxic and has an unpleasant odor.

Interesting Facts About the Small White Morning Glory:

  • The Small White Morning Glory grows quickly but is not nearly as invasive as some other vines such as the Riverbank Grape vines west of the path along Carillon Stonegate Pond.

  • Apparently, the short lifespan of the Morning Glory symbolizes unrequited love and affection.

  • The Morning Glory consists of 50 genera and over 1,000 species.

For more information on the Small White Morning Glory and sources of information used in this blog (these are several of the sources that I am using to learn as I blog), please visit Illinois Wildflowers, University of Texas Wildflower Center, Missouri Plants and Kansas Native Plants.

The Carillon at Stonegate community is very fortunate to have a variety of wetland, forest and prairie environments conducive to a variety of birds and other wildlife, insects and plants. Our community and the Kane County Forest Preserve do an exceptional job in maintaining this natural environment – both for the benefit of the birds and wildlife and for our residents to enjoy.

 

Take a hike and see what you can find – and identify!