Seeds of South Australia
Ipomoea polymorpha (Convolvulaceae)
Silky Cow-vine
List of species for Ipomoea
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Seed collecting:
February to July
Herbarium region:
Lake Eyre
NRM region:
South Australian Arid Lands
IBRA regions
Simpson Desert (SSD02)Simpson Strzelecki Dunefields
 Least Concern
Strzelecki Desert (SSD05) 
 Near Threatened
Oodnadatta (STP02)Stony Plains
 Near Threatened
Murnpeowie (STP03) 
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))   [southern edge of range]
Peake-Dennison Inlier (STP04) 
 Near Threatened
Macumba (STP05) 
 Near Threatened
Witjira (STP06) 
 Near Threatened
Sturt Stony Desert (CHC02)Channel Country
 Least Concern
Coongie (CHC06) 
 Least Concern
RSCA map:
Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion. Please click the thumbnail map.
AVH map:
Australian distribution map (external link)
SA Census:
Census of South Australian plants (external link)     [genus Ipomoea]
SA Flora:
Flora of South Australia Edition 5
Name derivation:
Ipomoea from the Greek 'ips' meaning a worm (mistakenly supposed by Linnaeus to mean the bindweed) and 'homoios' meaning like; referring to its twining habit. Polymorpha means many forms is very appropriate, since individuals of this species exhibit many different morphologies and inhabit a broad range of ecological situations.
Distribution:
Found in the north-eastern part of South Australia, growing on sandy, rarely clay soils, in open Acacia and eucalypt communities. Also found in Western Australia, Northern Territory, Queensland and New South Wales.
Status:
Native. Common in South Australia. Common in the other states.
Plant description:
Soft hairs annual with ascending or trailing stems. Leaves elliptic, entire to lobed, to 6 cm long and 2.5 cm wide, bluntly acute, base tapering. Inflorescence axillary with solitary, stalk-less, funnel-shaped, limb pink to purple, with a darker throat flower. Flowers throughout the year but mainly between January and May.
Fruit type:
Brown globular capsules to 5.5 mm diameter, with a persistent style base and splitting into 4 valves.
Seed type:
Brown sectoroid seed to 3 mm long and 3 mm wide, covered in long dark and light brown hairs.
Embryo type:
Folded.
Seed collecting:
Collect capsules that are maturing, turning brown and contain hard seeds inside. Capsules can be opened or unopened and some seed can be collected from the ground under the plant.
Seed cleaning:
Place the capsules in a tray and leave to dry for one to two weeks. Then rub the capsules gently by hand or with a rubber bung to dislodge the seeds. Use a sieve to separate the unwanted material. Store the seeds with a desiccant such as dried silica beads or dry rice, in an air tight container in a cool and dry place.
Seed germination:
This species has physical dormancy that needs to be overcome for the seed to germinate (e.g. nicking the seed coat).