South Dakota Native Plant Research
Convolvulaceae : Ipomoea leptophylla

Convolvulaceae : Ipomoea leptophylla


Download Seed: Seeds are covered with short brown hair. (67 KB)

Download Seedling: One month old seedling grown in research greenhouse at SDSU. (74 KB)

Download Vegetative: Leaves (4-10 cm long) have a short petiole. Plant compact bush to 1.5 m diameter. (639 KB)

Download Flowering: Twisted buds open into funnel-shaped flowers (973 KB)

Download Research Gardens: First seasons growth of seeds planted in research garden near Brookings, S.D. (138 KB)

Download Mature plant in bloom (3.9 MB)

Family Name


Common Name

Bushmorning glory, man root, man-of-the-earth

Native American Name

Lakota: pȟežúta niǧé tȟáŋka pȟetáǧa


Ipomoea leptophylla is a long-lived perennial shrub-like herb, with multiple smooth, decumbent to erect, stems, from a single large root, that grow 30-120 cm in length. The plant develops a large spindle shaped tuber that can extent more than 2 m into the ground and weigh up to 45 kg. The simple, alternate leaves are linear to linear-lanceolate, 3-15 cm long and 2-8 mm wide, petioles 1-7 mm long, the margins entire with a sharp tip. The inflorescence consists of axial cymes of 1-3 (rarely more) on long (7-10 cm) peduncles and each flower having a pedicel of 5-10 mm. The sepals are unequal in size, 5-10 mm long, the inner ones longer and wider than the outer. The purple to pink petals are fused, funnel shaped, 5-9 cm long with a darker throat. The stamens are included, unequal in length, 2-3 cm long with anthers 5-7 mm long. The pistil has a smooth, ovoid ovary and the style is included in the corolla. The fruit is an ovoid capsule 1-1.5 cm long. The seeds are large, 10 mm long and 4 mm wide, with a fine downy-haired coating. Bush morning glory blooms from May through September in the sandy plains and prairies of southwestern South Dakota.

Additional Notes

Bush morning glory is a dramatic addition to a xeric or native plant garden. It produces a large supply of flowers over a long blooming season. The plants are generally grown from seed as the large root is not easily transplanted

Horticulture Notes

Seed Collection: Collect seed in July-Sept. when dark brown in color.

Germination: the seedcoat is impermeable to water. Scarification with the point of a sharp knife to create a hole without damaging the seed and soaking them overnight will induce germination.

Vegetative Propagation: Tubers can be transplanted when dormant.

Soils: Sandy or gravelly well drained soils.

Light: Full sun.

Water: Tolerates dry to mesic conditions. Mature plants are very drought tolerant.

Convolvulaceae : Ipomoea leptophylla