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January 2008
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Morning glory tree / casahuate / Ipomoea arborescens (plant)

As the name suggests, the blooms fade as the sun warms them, just like morning glories – but they are impressive while they last, blooming in large clusters at the ends of the tall branches! The tree morning glory is native from the state of Sonora in northwestern Mexico. It is deciduous and leaf back late in the spring, at the same time as the summer monsoon rains bring moisture to its normal habitat. With enough water and fertilizer in summer it grows fairly rapidly.
The tree morning glory has 2 inches wide, cream colored flowers with dark red centers, mostly in winter. This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and birds. These trees can be grown in average soil in the full sun or partial shade, but they will need a trellis, fence or wall for support as they grow taller than their trunk can support on it’s own – OR – you can allow the branches to grow naturally and arch downward near the ground which makes enjoying these flowers close up even easier!
Caution: Seed is poisonous if ingested, and other parts of plant are poisonous if ingested.
If you want to collect the seed, then allow the pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds. Once properly cleaned, the seeds can be successfully stored. You may also take cuttings in the fall/early winter before first frost and root and keep in your greenhouse over winter to get a head start the next spring.

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