Transpecos Morning-glory

In the late summer and fall, Morning-glories (Ipomoea spp.) can be found in the canyons, washes, and riparian areas here in the Sonoran Desert. The beautiful, funnel-shaped flowers of many Morning-glories are only open in the morning and shrivel and close before midday. However, some of our Morning-glory species do have flowers that are open all day, such as the red-flowered Transpecos Morning-glory (Ipomoea cristulata).

Transpecos Morning-glory (Ipomoea cristulata)

Transpecos Morning-glories are probably the most common type of Morning-glory that I see here in the Tucson area. These native, annual vines have small, scarlet flowers and dark green leaves with three to five lobes. As might be expected by their tubular shape and bright red color, Transpecos Morning-glory flowers are visited by hummingbirds. The flowers are similar to those of Redstar (Ipomoea coccinea), which has heart-shaped leaves and does not occur in Arizona.