Wild Potato Vine (Ipomoea pandurata)

In dry soils, in fields or on roadsides, look for the large white morning-glory (up to three inches long and about as wide) with a reddish-purple "eye" in the center. Arising from a deep vertical root, this perennial vine with alternate leaves, entwines itself over other vegetation.

The leaf-blades are thin, heart-shaped, occasionally fiddle-shaped (pandurate), three to six inches long. The sepals are ridged, which distinguishes it from other morning-glories.

 Another distinguishing characteristic is its root.  Sometimes called Man-of-the-Earth, this morning-glory has an enlarged starchy root that can be several feet long and weigh up to thirty pounds. It is said that American  Indians roasted pieces of the root for food--but be wary about trying that, because the fresh root is a purgative.

Wild Potato Vine is widely distributed and blooms from May through September. It is a host for the sweet potato weevil, and can be a troublesome weed.  It is a member of the Morning-glory Family, Convolvulaceae.