Ipomoea triloba (three-lobe morning glory)
- Taxonomic Tree
- Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature
- Distribution Table
- Risk of Introduction
- Habitat List
- Biology and Ecology
- Natural enemies
- Notes on Natural Enemies
- Detection and Inspection
- Similarities to Other Species/Conditions
- Prevention and Control
- Links to Websites
- Distribution Maps
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PicturesTop of page
IdentityTop of page
Preferred Scientific Name
- Ipomoea triloba L.
Preferred Common Name
- three-lobe morning glory
International Common Names
- English: aiea morning glory; caapi; caapi-doux; little bell; morning glory; wild potato; wild slip
- Spanish: aguialdo rosado; campanilla; campanilla rosado; churristate; pink aguinaldo
Local Common Names
- Cuba: bouiato marrullero
- Germany: dreilappige; trichterwinde
- Japan: hoshiasagao
- IPOTR (Ipomoea triloba)
Taxonomic TreeTop of page
- Domain: Eukaryota
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Phylum: Spermatophyta
- Subphylum: Angiospermae
- Class: Dicotyledonae
- Order: Solanales
- Family: Convolvulaceae
- Genus: Ipomoea
- Species: Ipomoea triloba
Notes on Taxonomy and NomenclatureTop of page I. triloba is an annual member of the 'I. batatas complex' which contains 12 species, including sweet potatoes [I. batatas] (Austin, 1978).
DescriptionTop of page I. triloba is a herbaceous, annual twining vine with milky sap, simple leaves and pink to pale-purple funnel-shaped flowers.
Stems prostrate and twining, usually much branched, 1-3 m long, glabrous or sometimes sparsely pubescent, more densely pubescent on the nodes.
Leaves simple, alternate, petiolate; leaf blades broadly ovate to orbicular, 2-12 cm long and 2-10 cm broad, bases cordate; leaf margins entire, coarsely dentate, or deeply 3-5 lobed.
Inflorescences axillary, with dense several-flowered cymes, occasionally 1-flowered; peduncles 1-10 cm long, stout, angular, glabrous, minutely verruculose toward the apex.
Flowers mostly pink to pale-purple (sometimes white, especially in West Africa (Heine, 1963)), often with darker centre and pale mid-petal areas; pedicel 3-10 mm, firm, angular, thickened at apex, glabrous; sepals 5, free, 6-10 mm long, with 3-5 large, raised central veins, corolla funnel-shaped, 1.8-2 cm long, 1.8-2.5 cm across, glabrous, strongly narrowed at the base, the limb with 5 short, obtuse, mucronulate lobes; stamens 5, attached to the inside of the corolla tube; anthers and filaments white, mostly included, very rarely longer than the corolla tube, filaments densely hairy at base, sparsely covered with curved hairs in lower half; ovary globose, pilose, with a white nectary.
Fruit a subglobose, bristly pubescent, thin-walled capsule, 5-6 mm long and in diameter, 2-celled, 4-valved; seeds usually 4 per capsule, subglobose, 2.5-3.2 mm long, dark-brown.
(After Austin, 1978.)
DistributionTop of page I. triloba was originally a native of tropical America, but is now pantropical.
The map is based on published country records: I. triloba specimens have also been collected from Guatemala (R Westbrooks, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA, North Carolina, USA, personal communication, 1995), the Lesser Antilles (Adams et al., 1972), Polynesia and Micronesia (Gunn and Ritchie, 1982).
Distribution TableTop of page
The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.
|Continent/Country/Region||Distribution||Last Reported||Origin||First Reported||Invasive||Reference||Notes|
|Cambodia||Restricted distribution||Holm et al., 1979; EPPO, 2014|
|China||Present||Present based on regional distribution.|
|-Jiangxi||Present||Zeng et al., 2013|
|India||Present||Gunn and Ritchie, 1982; Deva and Naithani, 1990|
|Indonesia||Restricted distribution||Holm et al., 1979; EPPO, 2014|
|Iran||Present||Pahlevani and Sajedi, 2011|
|Israel||Present||Joel and Liston, 1986|
|Laos||Present||Gunn and Ritchie, 1982|
|Nepal||Restricted distribution||Gunn and Ritchie, 1982; EPPO, 2014|
|Pakistan||Present||Gunn and Ritchie, 1982|
|Philippines||Restricted distribution||Holm et al., 1979; Moody, 1986; Pamplona, 1988; EPPO, 2014|
|Sri Lanka||Present||Dassanayake, 1980|
|Thailand||Restricted distribution||Holm et al., 1979; EPPO, 2014|
|Côte d'Ivoire||Restricted distribution||Holm et al., 1979; EPPO, 2014|
|Senegal||Restricted distribution||Holm et al., 1979; EPPO, 2014|
|South Africa||Present||Gunn and Ritchie, 1982|
|-Arizona||Present||Kearney and Peebles, 1951|
|-Florida||Present||Westbrooks and Eplee, 1989|
|-Hawaii||Present||Haselwood & Motter, 1966; EPPO, 2014|
Central America and Caribbean
|Bahamas||Present||Adams at al., 1972|
|Cayman Islands||Present||Adams et al., 1972|
|Costa Rica||Restricted distribution||Ordetx, 1949; EPPO, 2014|
|Cuba||Restricted distribution||Ordetx, 1949; EPPO, 2014|
|Dominican Republic||Present||Austin, 1978|
|El Salvador||Present||Ordetx, 1949|
|Honduras||Restricted distribution||Holm et al., 1979; EPPO, 2014|
|Jamaica||Restricted distribution||Adams et al., 1972; EPPO, 2014|
|Nicaragua||Present||Gunn and Ritchie, 1982|
|Puerto Rico||Restricted distribution||Adams et al., 1972; EPPO, 2014|
|Trinidad and Tobago||Present||Adams et al., 1972|
|Argentina||Restricted distribution||Holm et al., 1979; EPPO, 2014|
|Bolivia||Present||Gunn and Ritchie, 1982|
|Colombia||Restricted distribution||Holm et al., 1979; Hallman, 1984; EPPO, 2014|
|Ecuador||Restricted distribution||Holm et al., 1979; EPPO, 2014|
|Venezuela||Present||Gunn and Ritchie, 1982|
|Australia||Restricted distribution||Auld and Medd, 1992; EPPO, 2014|
|Guam||Present||Gunn and Ritchie, 1982|
|Papua New Guinea||Restricted distribution||Gunn and Ritchie, 1982; EPPO, 2014|
Risk of IntroductionTop of page Seeds of I. triloba have been detected as a contaminant of sesame seeds originating from China, El Salvador and Guatemala (R Westbrooks, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA, North Carolina, USA, personal communication, 1995). I. triloba has also been intercepted as a contaminant of various types of imported spices and as a 'hitch-hiker' in cars at the USA-Mexican border (Westbrooks, 1989).
HabitatTop of page I. triloba is known to occur in various habitats, including cultivated fields (e.g., cotton, citrus groves), sandy ground and grassy swamp margins, on hedges, and in thickets, from low to middle elevations (Ordetx, 1949; Haselwood and Motter, 1966; Adams et al., 1972). In Queensland, Australia, it occurs as a weed of sugarcane and tropical pastures (Auld and Medd, 1992). In Java, it has been observed in brushwoods, living fences, sugarcane fields, roadsides, fields, and waste places (van Ooststroom, 1965).
Habitat ListTop of page
Biology and EcologyTop of page I. triloba is a twining annual herb that reproduces by seeds (Haselwood and Motter, 1966). Studies in the Philippines indicated that distinct patterns of emergence under natural conditions are related to rainfall patterns (Janiya and Moody, 1987).
In the Philippines, nicking the seed coat with a blade was the most effective dormancy-breaking treatment studied. Sand scarification was effective but damaged the seed. A 40-80% saturation level in the soil favoured germination (Gacutan, 1979).
I. triloba is considered to be an important plant in honey production in Cuba and other Central American countries (Ordetx, 1949).
Natural enemiesTop of page
|Natural enemy||Type||Life stages||Specificity||References||Biological control in||Biological control on|
Notes on Natural EnemiesTop of page The phytophagous arthropods (and their natural enemies) in an agroecosystem in the warm region of central Tolima, Colombia were investigated from November 1976 until May 1979. This project found that Agrius cingulatus showed some promise for biological control of I. triloba. On several occasions, this sphingid completely defoliated the weed in soyabean crops without damaging the crop. Larvae placed on soyabean leaves in the laboratory died without feeding (Hallman, 1979).
ImpactTop of page I. triloba is considered a serious weed in Australia and the Philippines; a principal weed in Cuba, Hawaii, and Honduras; and a common weed in Argentina, Jamaica, and Indonesia (Holm et al., 1979). Like other 'morning-glories', it competes with crop plants for nutrients and water. Due to its twining nature, it also fouls mechanical harvesters. It has been noted as one of three morning-glory weeds of cotton fields in Arizona, USA (G Yatskievych, University of Arizona, personal communication, 1981).
In Java, I. triloba is a weed of brushwoods, living fences, sugarcane fields, roadsides, fields and waste places (van Ooststroom, 1965). A nematode assessment survey of the vegetable-growing areas of Barangay Sicsican in Talavera, Neuva, Ecija, Philippines found that I. triloba and several other weeds serve as alternative hosts for root-knot nematodes (Meloidogyne javanica and M. incognita). Such alternative hosts play an important role in the nematodes' ability to survive and persist during the rice season before the vegetable season (Mamari and Alberto, 1989).
In the Philippines, I. triloba is one of the main weeds of monoculture maize (Pamplona, 1988), one of the most common weeds in intercropped maize, sorghum, sunflowers, coconuts, tomatoes, and sesame (Moody, 1986), and has been listed there as one of 21 common weeds of cotton (Paller and Lijauco, 1981).
In one study, varying densities of I. triloba were maintained in monocultures of soyabeans or maize and maize-soyabean intercrops. Weed density did not normally have a significant effect on insect pest populations, but the presence of I. triloba tended to increase damage by insects in soyabeans and to act as a pest attractant in maize (Mercado et al., 1980).
I. triloba was first reported in Israel in 1986 as a weed in cotton (Joel and Liston, 1986).
Studies in the Solomon Islands showed that I. triloba and two other species are alternative hosts for witches' broom disease of sweet potatoes (Jackson and Zettler, 1983).
Detection and InspectionTop of page To avoid further worldwide spread, shipments of seeds and spices from infested countries should be closely examined for the presence of seeds of I. triloba. Devitalized [killed] seed samples should be provided to plant regulatory inspectors to increase the effectiveness of the inspection. To avoid losses and costs of control, field surveys should be conducted to permit early detection and eradication of this noxious weed before it becomes firmly established.
Similarities to Other Species/ConditionsTop of page According to Austin (1978), most floristic studies of the New World have failed to recognize the difference between I. triloba and I. batatas (sweet potatoes). Characteristics that separate these two species include corolla length [1.8-2 cm for I. triloba versus 3-5(7) cm], nectary colour (white versus yellow to yellow-orange), number of seeds/fruit (four versus usually less than four), and a lack of sweet potato tubers.
Another species that is similar to I. triloba is I. x grandifolia. According to Austin (1978), these species may be separated by sepal shape (oblong to narrowly elliptic-oblong for I. triloba versus lanceolate to ovate-lanceolate), sepal length [6-8(10) mm versus 8-11 mm], capsule size (5-6 mm long and in diameter versus 6-7 mm in diameter, capsule pubescence (pilose versus hirsute), and seed size (2.5-3.2 mm long versus 3.5-4 mm long).
I. triloba and I. lacunosa (which is spread in birdseed and millet) may be separated on the basis of flower colour (pink to purple for I. triloba versus white), sepal size [6-8(10) mm long versus (8)11-14 mm long], sepal shape (more or less oblong versus lanceolate), capsule size (5-6 mm long and in diameter versus 10-15 mm in diameter), and seed size (2.5-3.2 mm long versus 5-6 mm long) (Austin, 1978).
I. triloba and a rather common form of the hybrid I. x leucantha (parent species I. lacunosa and I. trichocarpa) may be separated on the basis of sepal shape (more or less oblong for I. triloba versus lanceolate), sepal length [6-8(10) mm versus (8)10-14 mm], capsule size (5-6 mm long and in diameter versus 7-8 mm in diameter), and seed size (2.5-3.2 mm long versus 3.2-4.5 mm long) (Austin, 1978).
Prevention and ControlTop of page
Due to the variable regulations around (de)registration of pesticides, your national list of registered pesticides or relevant authority should be consulted to determine which products are legally allowed for use in your country when considering chemical control. Pesticides should always be used in a lawful manner, consistent with the product's label.
Chemical, Cultural and Sanitary Methods
Research in the Philippines showed that I. triloba was controlled in coconut nurseries with the use of paraquat or by hand weeding at intervals of 1-2 months (Abad and Juan, 1981).
Field studies to evaluate different herbicides and herbicide combinations in the Philippines showed that pendimethalin alone failed to control I. triloba in maize cv. Pioneer 6181 (Jover et al., 1982). Madrid and Manimtim (1978a) found that atrazine provided good control of broad-leaved weeds, including I. triloba; however, oxyfluorfen provided good control for I. triloba but killed the maize.
Sugarcane and Sorghum
Research by the Hawaiian Sugar Planters' Association indicated that metsulfuron provided good control of I. triloba (Santo, 1989). In another Hawaiian study, conducted during the first 4-6 months of sugarcane growth until the canopy closed, atrazine was found to give excellent control of several broadleaved weeds, including I. triloba (Olney, 1971).
Field trials in sugarcane and sorghum in New South Wales and Queensland (Australia) during 1982-86, showed that I. triloba was moderately susceptible to fluroxypyr, but was controlled with a tank mixture of fluroxypyr and 2,4-D (Webb and Feez, 1987).
Hondrade (1981) found that pendimethalin was ineffective in controlling I. triloba in sugarcane.
In field trials in the Burdekin District of Queensland, 2,4-D and MCPA applied to sugarcane at hilling up gave good control of I. triloba, I. plebeia and I. purpurea, and provided an economical and reliable alternative to aerial spraying. The major Burdekin cane cultivars, Q96 and Q80, could be treated without risk of damage. 2,4-D was the least expensive of the treatments (on the basis of the cost of chemical). Extensive commercial spraying showed that 2,4,5,-T [superseded] could be used to maintain satisfactory weed control, but that higher rates were needed where Cucumis metuliferus or Passiflora subpeltata were also present (Anonymous, 1980).
Mungbeans and Soyabeans
In the Philippines, oxyfluorfen was effective in inhibiting the germination of I. triloba in mungbeans and soyabeans when applied 2 days after planting. Emergence of I. triloba was observed at lower rates, but the seedlings died 2 weeks after treatment (Fabro and Robles, 1982).
In another Philippine study, oxadiazon applied pre-emergence in soyabeans gave excellent control of I. triloba. In another trial, however, oxadiazon controlled I. triloba but severely injured the crop. Combination pre-emergence and post-emergence directed applications of bentazone also provided control (Madrid and Manimtim, 1978b).
Tomatoes and Cabbages
Rice straw, rice hulls and sawdust mulches reduced populations of I. triloba in tomatoes by 50% at 30 days after transplanting. However, the weed eventually penetrated the mulches and grew out of control. In transplanted cabbage, mulching also cut populations of I. triloba in half during the wet season of 1977 in the Philippines (Paller et al., 1979).
Pre-emergence application of bromacil was effective in controlling I. triloba in a variety of tropical crops in the Philippines (Mendoza, 1979). In another Philippine study, bentazone applied post-emergence or as a directed spray controlled I. triloba at the 2-3 leaf stage. However, yields were less than with hand weeding and weed control was not season long (Robles et al., 1979).
The phytophagous arthropods (and their natural enemies) in an agroecosystem in the warm region of central Tolima, Colombia were investigated from November 1976 until May 1979. This project found that Agrius cingulatus showed some promise for biological control of I. triloba. On several occasions, this sphingid completely defoliated the weed in soyabean crops without damaging the crop. Larvae placed on soyabean leaves in the laboratory died without feeding (Hallman, 1979).
I. triloba is listed as a Federal Noxious Weed in the USA. Introduction is permitted there only by permit from the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.
Preliminary studies indicate that a 0.35% solution of caustic soda (NaOH) in hot water at 92°C is sufficient to kill seeds of I. triloba that contaminate shipments of sesame (caustic soda is used to de-hull or decorticate raw sesame seeds). Preliminary studies also indicate that dry heat (hot air) temperatures of 130°C will kill seeds of I. triloba (R Westbrooks, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA, North Carolina, USA, personal communication, 1995).
Regulatory strategies to prevent the world movement and further establishment of exotic pest plants such as I. triloba include foreign prevention (production of weed-free commodities for export to uninfested countries); exclusion (detection and mitigation of weed contaminants in imported products at ports of entry); detection, containments and eradication of incipient infestations, and cost-effective control of widespread species (Westbrooks, 1991).
ReferencesTop of page
Abad R; Juan N, 1981. Effect of different rates of glyphosate followed by paraquat on the weed population in coconut (Cocos nucifera L.). Philippine Journal of Weed Science, 8:5-14.
Adams C; Proctor G; Read R, 1972. Flowering plants of Jamaica. Mona, Jamaica: University of the West Indies.
Auld B; Medd R, 1992. Weeds. An illustrated botanical guide to the weeds of Australia. Melbourne, Australia: Inkata Press.
Austin D, 1978. The Ipomoea batatas complex - I. Taxonomy. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club, 105(2):114-129.
Dassanayake M; ed, 1980. A Revised Handbook to the Flora of Ceylon. Volume I. New Dehli, India: Amerind Publishing Co.
EPPO, 2014. PQR database. Paris, France: European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization. http://www.eppo.int/DATABASES/pqr/pqr.htm
Fabro LE; Robles RP, unda. Response of mungbean, soybean and some weeds to oxyfluorfen. Proceedings, 13th Anniversary and Annual Convention, Pest Control Council of the Philippines Inc. Pest Control Council Philippines, 112
Gacutan AT, 1979. Some factors affecting the germination of Ipomoea triloba L. Philippines, University of the Philippines at Los Banos, College of Agriculture, Department of Agronomy: Weed science report 1977-78., 100-105
Gunn C; Ritchie C, 1982. The 1982 report of the Technical Committee to Evaluate Noxious Weeds. Evaluation of taxa proposed for listing as Federal Noxious Weeds. Riverdale, Maryland, USA: US Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Plant Protection and Quarantine.
Haselwood E; Motter G; eds, 1966. Handbook of Hawaiian Weeds. Hawaii: Experiment Station of the Hawaiian Sugar Planters' Association.
Heine H, 1963. Convolvulaceae. In: Hepper FN, ed. Flora of West Tropical Africa, Vol 2, 2nd edition. London, UK: Crown Agents, 335-352.
Hondrade E, 1981. Evaluation of some pre-emergence herbicides for weed control in sugarcane. SMARC Monitor, 2(4):10.
Jover EM; Tabora R; Pamplona PP, unda. Evaluation of herbicides and herbicide combination applied as blanket and strip spray for the control of weeds in corn. Proceedings, 13th Anniversary and Annual Convention, Pest Control Council of the Philippines, Inc. Pest Control Council Philippines, 109-110
Kearney T; Peebles R, 1951. Arizona Flora. Berkeley and Los Angeles, USA: University of California Press.
Madrid M Jr; Manimtim M, 1978a. Weed control in corn. Weed Science Report, 1976-77. Los Banos, Philippines: University of the Philippines at Los Banos (College of Agriculture, Department of Agronomy), 37-42.
Mamari E; Alberto R, 1989. Root knot nematodes infecting some common weeds in vegetable growing areas of Sicsican. International Nematology Network Newsletter, 6:37-39.
Mercado BL; Parducho V; Bariuan J, 1980. Influence of weed [Ipomoea triloba] density on insect pest occurrence in corn-soybean monoculture and intercrops. Philippines, University of the Philippines at Los Banos, College of Agriculture, Department of Agronomy: Weed science report 1978-1979., 94-99
Olney V, 1971. Development of weed control in Hawaiian sugarcane fields. Third Conference of the Asian-Pacific Weed Science Society, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Asian Pacific Weed ScienceSociety, 35:1-6.
Ordetx G, 1949. The Aguinaldos, major bee plants of Cuba. American Bee Journal, 89:72-73.
Paller EC; Topay RO; Valente FV, 1979. Weed control in vegetables. Philippines, University of the Philippines at Los Banos, College of Agriculture, Department of Agronomy: Weed science report 1977-78., 56-64
Pamplona PP, 1988. Weed control management in corn in the Philippines. Proceedings of the third Asian regional maize workshop [edited by Leon, C. de; Granados, G.; Wedderburn, R.N.] Mexico City Mexico; CIMMYT, No. 3:148-159
Robles R; Fabro L; Nunez Z, 1979. Weed control in legumes (dry season, 1978). Weed Science Report, 1977-78. Los Banos, Philippines: University of the Philippines at Los Banos (College of Agriculture, Department of Agronomy), 46-54.
Santo L, 1989. Weed control with cultural and chemical methods in Hawaiian sugarcane. Proceedings of the Western Society of Weed Science, 42:78-82.
van Ooststroom S, 1965. Ipomoea. In: Backer CA, Bakhuizen van den Brink RC Jr, eds. Flora of Java, Vol. 2. Groningen, The Netherlands: Noordhoff, 490-496.
Waterhouse DF, 1993. The Major Arthropod Pests and Weeds of Agriculture in Southeast Asia. ACIAR Monograph No. 21. Canberra, Australia: Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, 141 pp.
Webb KR; Feez AM, 1987. Control of broadleaf weeds with fluroxypyr in sugarcane and grain sorghum in Northern New South Wales and Queensland, Australia. In: Proceedings of the 11th Asian Pacific Weed Science Society Conference Taipei, Taiwan: Asian Pacific Weed Science Society, 1:211-217.
Westbrooks R, 1989. Regulatory exclusion of Federal Noxious Weeds from the United States. Ph.D. Dissertation. Raleigh, North Carolina: Department of Botany, North Carolina State University.
Westbrooks R; Eplee R, 1989. Federal Noxious Weeds in Florida. Proceedings of the Southern Weed Science Society, 42:316-321.
Westbrooks R; Eplee R, 1992. Annual Report. Whiteville Plant Methods Center. Whiteville, North Carolina, USA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Plant Protection and Quarantine.
Zeng XianFeng; Qiu HeYuan; Fang MiaoChun; Ma JinShuang, 2013. Three newly recorded invasive plants in Jiangxi province, China. Acta Agriculturae Universitatis Jiangxiensis, 35(5):1005-1007. http://xuebao.jxau.edu.cn
Distribution MapsTop of page
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