Ipomoea staphylina: Clustered morning glory

Family: Convolvulaceae
Common name: Clustered morning glory, Lesser glory, Irula, Ugina kodi, Sunang kodi, Onaan kodi

Clustered morning glory plants are seen in the wild, a common plant in the Ipomoea family characterized by beautiful, bright morning glory flowers. They are seen near lakes, rivers, empty plots, or even roadsides growing and spreading very quickly with fast-growing vines.

The plant can grow over 4 meters long spreading over the ground, or on surrounding vegetation. The strong stems and thick foliage is capable of smothering the plants they grow on, affecting local vegetation.

Leaves are green, simple, alternate about 12-15 cm long. Flowers are borne in thick clusters, more than a 100 flowers in each bunch. The very name of the plant comes from the Greek word staphyle, which means cluster. Flowers are borne on stall stalks that are about a centimeter long.

They are light pink in color with a deep purple center which makes them very attractive. These flowers are cup-shaped, about 2 cm long and 4-6 cm in diameter. Stamens and style are white in color and in clear contrast to the dark-colored center. These flowers blooming in hundreds attract bees, ants, and small insects that help pollinate them.

Clustered morning glory plants are common in tropical weather, especially with high humidity. They need well-drained soil and bright sunlight to bloom well. These plants can also make good garden plants and made to climb on trellises, balcony railings, or supporting structures.

With sufficient sunlight and moisture, they can flower profusely covering your garden with delicate, pink-purple flowers. Since clustered morning glory plants are essentially wild plants, they need very little fertilization and care.

They are considered invasive weeds in some parts of the world. But they can be easily removed by hand-plucking the vines before they flower and fruit. These plants are mostly found in India, Sri Lanka, and China.

Clustered morning glory plants have traditionally been used to treat ailments like diabetes, inflammation, cancer, oxidative stress, and pathogenic infections.

Propagation is through seeds or stem cuttings.