Weeds of Wednesday: Mooning You!

Moonflowers, a fast-growing & high-climbing native morning glory vine, were abundant at the Denton Trail when we visited on 6-13-2019.  Our leader Jane Schnee (Class of 2010) spoke about how swiftly these vines had grown up into tall trees.

Tropical white morning-glory, moon vine, and evening glory are other common names for this perennial, tropical white-flowered morning glory vine.  Its large (4-8″ across), fragrant white flowers open around sunset and begin to fade by morning.  Moths, especially sphinx moths, pollinate its striking and substantial white flowers.

You will find this vine growing in hammocks and swamp edges.  At the Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area, its growth was quite overwhelming immediately following Hurricanes Frances and Jeanne in 2004, which damaged the canopy and brought sunshine to the hammock floor.  In time as the canopy re-grew, much of the moonflowers vine was shaded out.    This vine prefers full sun or light shade and responds swiftly to disturbance.

This vine is pretty salt tolerant and is shown below at Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge growing over flowering black mangrove (Avicennia nitida).

Freezing temperatures kill this vine, so it safely can be grown as an annual in cooler climes.