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FOC | Family List | FOC Vol. 16 | Convolvulaceae | Ipomoea

21. Ipomoea alba Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 1: 161. 1753.

月光花 yue guang hua

Calonyction aculeatum (Linnaeus) House; C. aculeatum var. lobatum (H. Hallier) C. Y. Wu; C. album (Linnaeus) House; C. bona-nox (Linnaeus) Bojer; C. bona-nox var. lobata H. Hallier; C. speciosum Choisy; Convolvulus aculeatus Linnaeus; Ipomoea aculeata (Linnaeus) Kuntze; I. aculeata var. bona-nox (Linnaeus) Kuntze; I. bona-nox Linnaeus.

Herbs annual or perennial, twining, usually glabrous, rarely puberulent. Stems to 10 m, terete, smooth or with soft prickles, sap milky. Petiole 5-20 cm; leaf blade ovate to ± circular in outline, 10-20 X 5-16 cm, base cordate, margin entire, angular to 3-lobed, apex acuminate, mucronulate. Inflorescences helicoid cymes, rarely dichasial, 1- to several flowered; peduncle stout, terete, 1-24 cm; bracts early deciduous, small. Pedicel 7-15 cm, clavate distally, enlarged in fruit. Flowers nocturnal, fragrant. Sepals elliptic to ovate, ± leathery, glabrous; outer 3 sepals 5-12 mm, apex with a stout spreading awn 4-9 mm; inner 2 sepals 7-15 mm, mucronate. Corolla white, with greenish bands, salverform; tube 7-12 cm, ca. 5 mm in diam.; limb 7-12 cm in diam., shallowly 5-undulate. Stamens exserted; filaments inserted in apical 1/2 of corolla tube, glabrous; anthers sagittate basally. Pistil exserted; ovary narrowly conical, glabrous. Stigma 2-lobed. Capsule ovoid, 2.5-3 cm, apiculate. Seeds white, brown, or black, ca. 10 7-8 mm, glabrous. 2n = 28*, 30*, 38*.

Wet forests, watercourses, disturbed areas, cultivated and also naturalized sporadically. Guangdong, Guangxi, Hainan, Jiangsu, Jaingxi, Shaanxi, Sichuan, Yunnan, Zhejiang [naturalized in Indonesia, Japan (Ryukyu Islands), Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, New Guinea, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand; Pacific Islands, native in North and South America]

The whole plant is used in treating snakebite.


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