Ipomoea jalapa,

Wood, John R. I., Munoz-Rodriguez, Pablo, Williams, Bethany R. M. & Scotland, Robert W., 2020, A foundation monograph of Ipomoea (Convolvulaceae) in the New World, PhytoKeys 143, pp. 1-823: 1

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Ipomoea jalapa


73. Ipomoea jalapa  (L.) Pursh, Fl. Amer. Sept. 146. 1813. (Pursh 1813: 146)

Convolvulus jalapa  L., Mant. Pl. 43. 1767. (Linnaeus 1767: 43). Type. MEXICO. Veracruz, McDonald 2430 (neotype BM000953190, designated by McDonald (1989: 137), isoneotypes K, MEX, TEX).

Batatas jalapa  (L.) Choisy, Mém. Soc. Phys. Genève 8 (1): 47 [125]. 1838. (Choisy 1838: 47 [125]).

Ipomoea jalapa var. rosea Ker-Gawl.  , Bot. Reg. 8: t. 621. 1822. (Ker-Gawler 1822: t.621), var. illeg., autonymic variety based on Convolvulus jalapa  L.

Ipomoea purshii G. Don, Hort. Brit.  , ed. 3: 483, 1839. (Sweet 1839: 483). Type based Ipomoea jalapa var. rosea Ker-Gawl. 

Ipomoea calantha Griseb.  , Cat. Pl. Cub. 202. 1866. (Grisebach 1866: 202). Type. CUBA. Bahia Honda, C. Wright 3091[1637] (holotype GOET002505, isotypes BM, G, GOET, HAC, K, MO, US).

Ipomoea carrizalia Brandegee  , Univ. Calif. Publ. Bot. 4 (19): 382. 1913. (Brandegee 1913: 382). Type. MEXICO. Veracruz, Baños de Carrizal, C.A. Purpus 6241 (holotype UC167863, isotypes BM, F, GH, NY, US).

Ipomoea fendleriana Kuntze  , Revis. Gen. Pl. 2: 444. 1891. (Kuntze 1891: 444). Type. VENEZUELA. Aragua, Tovar, A. Fendler 2083 (lectotype K000612881, designated here).

Ipomoea perichnoa Urban  , Symb. Antill. 9: 426. 1925. (Urban 1925: 426). Type. CUBA. Pinar del Río, Guanahacabibes Peninsular, E.L. Ekman 18781 (holotype S07-4768, isotypes A, NY, G, HAC-fragment).


Based on Convolvulus jalapa  L.


Vigorous climbing perennial; stem somewhat woody, pubescent, rootstock a swollen tuber. Leaves petiolate, 6-13 × 5-10 cm, ovate (rarely irregularly lobed to halfway), shortly but finely acuminate, mucronate, base subtruncate to cordate with rounded auricles, glabrous above, abaxially glabrous to tomentellous; petioles 7-9 cm, thinly to densely pubescent. Inflorescence of axillary, pedunculate cymes with mostly 3-5(-10) flowers; peduncles 4-8 cm, relatively stout; bracteoles caducous, not seen; secondary peduncles 1.2-1.8 cm; pedicels 1-3 cm, thickened upwards, puberulent, with tendency to recurve; sepals subequal, outer 8-13 × 4-7 mm, ovate to elliptic, acute or obtuse, uniformly puberulent to tomentellous, occasionally nearly glabrous, inner sepals more obovate to sunorbicular, rounded, the central area more densely hirsute and the wide margins scarious and glabrous; corolla (7-)9-11 cm long, pink, sericeous in bud and on midpetaline bands, narrowly funnel-shaped, limb undulate, c. 6 cm diam. Capsules ovoid, 10-14 × 9-10 mm, glabrous; seeds 8-10 × 4 mm, brown, densely pilose to woolly, hairs white, 5-12 mm long, of different lengths.


Acevedo-Rodríguez (2005: 168) as Ipomoea calantha  .


Ipomoea jalapa  grows at altitudes of up to 1700 m, but often at low altitudes not far from the coast. The distribution is similar to that of Ipomoea trifida  but I. jalapa  is nowhere very common and it is unrecorded in a number of countries, where it might be expected to occur including the Dominican Republic, Panama and Guatemala.

ECUADOR. Guayas: Chongón, E. Asplund 5219 (AAU, K, NY, S, US); Río Daule, G.W. Harling 4796 (MO, S). Loja: Hac. Banderones, B. Klitgaard et al. 531 (AAU, LOJA, NY, QCNE). Napo: Misahuallí, F. Ervik 36876 (AAU).

COLOMBIA. J. Cuatrecasas 25431(US). Bolívar: Isla Mucura, C.A. Florez 103 (COL). VENEZUELA. sine data, Moritz 1242 (BM); Engstedt 8/10/1947 (S). Dist. Fed.: Macarao, H. Pittier 13649 (MO). Lara: Jiménez, Represa de Yacambú, J. Steyermark 108776 (MO). Miranda: Carenero, J. Steyermark & G. S. Bunting 102315 (MO). Yaracuy: 10 km al N. de Marín, J. Steyermark 105352 (MO).

COSTA RICA. Puntarenas, D.F. Austin 7826 (CR, FTG, MO); ibid., Garabito, B. Hammel 19972 (K, MO); A. Rodríguez & A. Estrada 371 (K, MO).

NICARAGUA. Matagalpa, W. D. Stevens & R. Riviere 20937 (MO); Chontales, Tawa, W. D. Stevens & O.M. Montiel 35018 (MO).

HONDURAS. Comayagua, Chicipates, C.H. Nelson et al. 6603 (MO).

BELIZE. Cayo, Chiquibul Forest Reserve, C. Whitefoord 10522 (BM)

MEXICO. Campeche: Calkiní, E. F. Cabrera  14402 (IEB, MEXU). Guanajuato: El Llanete, S. Zamudio et al. 10462 (IEB); Humuchil, J. Rzedowski 52937 (IEB). Hidalgo: San Cristóbal, S. Zamudio 10887 (IEB). Jalisco: fide Carranza (2007: 58). Nuevo León: Iturbide, J.C & G.S. Hinton 21456 (GBH); Aramberri, P. Carrillo-Reyes & V. Sosa 4655 (IEB). Querétaro: La Mora, E. Carranza & I. Silva 6250 (IEB); Cañon del Río Estórax, S. Zamudio & L. Beltrán 14194 (IEB). Quintana Roo: O. Télez 3689 (MEXU). San Luís Potosí: D.F. Austin & F. de la Puente 7698 (FTG); Rayón, E. Carranza & E. Pérez 5637 (IEB). Sonora: Cerro Prieto, A.C. Sanders et al. 9261 (MO). Tamaulipas: H.H. Bartlett 11115 (MICH); M.C. Johnston 5609 (MICH); J.N. Labat 542 (P). Veracruz: Baños de Carrizal, C.A. Purpus 6241 (MO). Yucatán: C. Vargas 143 (CICY).

CUBA. La Habana: Bro. León 6826 (HAC), 14703 (HAC, NY). Pinar del Río: E.L. Ekman 18176 (HAC, NY, S); J. Bisse et al. 51285 (HAJB).

HAITI. Massif des Matheux, E.L. Ekman H7093 (NY, S), Nouvelle Touraine. E.L. Ekman H1471 (S).

PUERTO RICO. Coamo, P. Sintenis 3128 (K, MO, NY, P, S), 3684 (BM, NY).

LESSER ANTILLES. U.S. Virgin Islands: St Croix and St John fide Acevedo-Rodríguez (2005). Martinique: Berlanger s.n. (P).


Ipomoea jalapa  and I. macrorhiza  are unusual in this large clade as their distribution is centred on the Caribbean rather than South America. It is also highly variable in leaf shape and corolla size, and ITS suggests it is polyphyletic. Intensive studies are needed to resolve these uncertainties.

Ipomoea jalapa  is most likely to be confused with I. carnea subsp. carnea  but is distinguished by the longer outer sepals. These are usually < 7 mm long in I. carnea  . The corolla is also larger. Historically this species has also been confused with I. macrorhiza  , which is a coastal night-flowering species of the SE United States with white flowers and often 3-lobed leaves.

Ipomoea perichnoa  is included as a synonym of I. jalapa  . It differs in the woolly seeds with hairs to 15 mm long covering the whole surface but, in the absence of any other obvious distinguishing character, there seems no good reason to accept I. perichnoa  as a distinct species.

Ipomoea jalapa  is quite variable, plants from Haiti and Puerto Rico, for example, have very long stamens, while specimens from the interior of Mexico quite commonly have irregularly lobed leaves and relatively small sepals.

An extract from the roots is used medicinally.