The Biological Flora of Coastal Dunes and Wetlands. Ipomoea imperati (Vahl) Griseb.


  • Robert I. Lonard
  • Frank W. Judd


Beach morning glory, taxonomy, variation, morphology, habitats, communities, physiology, population ecology, reproduction, geomorphologic interactions, economic importance.


Beach morning glory, Ipomoea imperati (Vahl) Griseb. = I. stolonifera (Cirillo) Gmelin is a pantropical, prostrate vine that is an important pioneer species in the backshore of coastal beaches of six continents and many islands. The landward distribution of beach morning glory is influenced by dispersal and competition, and its seaward distribution is determined by the physical environment acting through movement of seeds away from the water and high seedling mortality in the backshore. It is occasionally found in disturbed sites on barrier islands well inland from the shore. Beach morning glory tolerates low levels of soil nutrients, sand scouring, moderate burial by accreting sand, and high substrate temperatures. It flowers from April to December on South Padre Island, Texas, and fruits ripen from March to September on the Veracruz, Mexico, coast. Populations on South Padre Island, Texas, are occasionally damaged by frost, but hurricanes are the cause of major reductions in the species' abundance. Beach morning glory is self-incompatible. Usually, four seeds per capsule are produced. Apparently, seedlings do not survive near adults.