Monday Melange: Moonflower
Written by Heleigh Bostwick    Monday, 28 May 2012
Moonflower

Also known as tropical flowering morning glory, moonflower (Ipomoea alba), a relative of the eternally obnoxious morning glory that runs rampant throughout the northeast, mid-Atlantic, and quite likely elsewhere, is a flowering perennial vine that is native to the US, including the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Unfortunately, the fragrant night blooming moonflower is one of those examples of native plants gone wild, er invasive--at least in certain parts of the country. Indeed, the “morning glory” genus Ipomoea is listed as a noxious weed in Arkansas and a prohibited weed in Arizona.

Nonetheless, moonflower is worthy of some discussion since there are ways to contain it, promptly deadheading flowers for example to prevent them from setting seed. Hardy between USDA plant zones 8 and 11, this vigorously growing vine reaches a height of 8 to 10 feet tall. It is typically grown from seed, prefers full sun, and should be watered on a regular basis, but not overwatered.

The large 5 to 6 inch-wide creamy white flowers are typical of morning glories blooming from late spring to early autumn. They are both showy and fragrant, attracting moths and other evening insects, which is one reason it’s a nice choice for a moon or evening garden.

Photo source: Moon flower