Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Ipomoea lobata
(Cerv.) Thell., Convolvulaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  no

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Other Latin names:  Mina lobata Cerv.; Quamoclit lobata (Cerv.) House

Common name(s): [more details]

English: firecracker vine, Spanish flag

Habit:  vine

Description:  "Perennial glabrous twiner; stems slender, up to 5 m long. Leaf-blade broadly ovate to reniform in outline, 6-15 cm long and wide, with a deep sinus at the base, entire or 3-lobed; central lobe elliptic, acuminate, entire or remotely toothed; lateral lobes subovate, often lobed or with coarse teeth; petiole 3-13 cm long. Inflorescences up to 15 cm long; peduncles up to 20 cm long. Sepals 2-4 mm long, with an awn 2-3 mm long. Corolla red, later becoming whitish or pale yellow; narrow tubular part 4 mm long, 1.5 mm wide; upper part 17-20 mm long; teeth mucronulate. Stamens and style finally twice as long as the corolla. Capsule glabrous, ovoid, 6-8 mm long" (Turrill et al., 1963; p. 68).

Habitat/ecology:  "Naturalized in lowland rain forest" (Turrill et al., 1963; p. 68).

Propagation:  Seed

Native range:  "Mexico to South America; widely cultivated in the tropics and occasionally seen as an escape" (Turrill et al., 1963; p. 68).


Pacific Rim
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Colombia (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Guatemala (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Mexico (United Mexican States) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)

Comments:  Reported invasive in Tanzania (Rejmánek, 1996).

Additional information:
Additional online information about Ipomoea lobata is available from the Hawaiian Ecosystems at Risk project (HEAR).

Information about Ipomoea lobata as a weed (worldwide references) may be available from the Global Compendium of Weeds (GCW).

Taxonomic information about Ipomoea lobata may be available from the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN).


Rejmánek, M. 1996. Species richness and resistance to invasions. In: Orians, G., R. Dirzo and J. H. Cushman (eds.). Biodiversity and ecosystem processes in tropical forests. Springer-Verlag. pp. 153-172.

Turrill, W. B. et al., eds. 1963. Convolvulaceae. Flora of tropical East Africa. Crown Agents, London.

U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. 2013. National Genetic Resources Program. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Online searchable database.

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This page was created on 16 JAN 2004 and was last updated on 18 OCT 2006.