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Ipomoea pes-caprae (Railroad Vine)

Railroad Vine, Goat-foot Morning Glory, Bayhops, Beach Morning Glory

Ipomoea pes-caprae, Railroad Vine, Goat-foot Morning Glory, Bayhops, Beach Morning Glory, Perennial Vine, Native Florida Vine, Purple Flowers
Ipomoea pes-caprae, Railroad Vine, Goat-foot Morning Glory, Bayhops, Beach Morning Glory, Perennial Vine, Native Florida Vine, Purple Flowers
Ipomoea pes-caprae, Railroad Vine, Goat-foot Morning Glory, Bayhops, Beach Morning Glory, Perennial Vine, Native Florida Vine, Purple Flowers
Ipomoea pes-caprae, Railroad Vine, Goat-foot Morning Glory, Bayhops, Beach Morning Glory, Perennial Vine, Native Florida Vine, Purple Flowers

Noted for its showy flowers and interesting foliage, Ipomoea pes-caprae (Railroad Vine) is a creeping evergreen vine with pink to lavender, reddish-purple, or violet flowers that open in the morning and begin to close up by afternoon. Blooming all year-round, with a peak from late spring to winter, the flowers are large, 2 in. across (5 cm), and funnel-shaped with fused petals, usually with a darker purple throat radiating as bands up the midline of each petal. Attractive to bees, butterflies, moths, flies, beetles, wasps, and ants, they give way to ovoid, dehiscent capsules containing seeds that are adapted for dispersal on ocean currents. The succulent trailing stems are covered with small, alternately arranged, egg-shaped to circular, dark green leaves with a notched apex. Forming roots at the nodes, they provide a dense leafy cover. One of the most widely distributed beach plants in the world, Railroad vine can be found in subtropical and tropical areas worldwide, including the West Indies, the Americas, Africa, Asia, Australia, and the Pacific Islands. It occurs naturally in coastal habitats, especially dunes and beaches where it is an important sand stabilizer and colonizer. Railroad Vine is a tap-rooted perennial vine that grows quickly. The common name “Railroad Vine” refers to its tendency to form incredibly long tracks of horizontal stems. Railroad Vine is excellent for beachfront homes and coastal landscapes. It makes a nice groundcover in informal dry gardens.

  • Grows up to 6 in. tall (15 cm) and 10-50 ft. wide (3-15 m). Will quickly spread to form a mat without being invasive.
  • Thrives in full sun in dry, nutrient-poor, well-drained sandy soils. Can also tolerate moist or calcareous soils. Drought tolerant, Railroad Vine can tolerate significant and ongoing amounts of salty wind and salt spray without injury.
  • No serious pest or disease issues. Keep an eye out for beetles, scales, slugs, leaf spots and rust.
  • Propagate by seeds.
  • Native to pantropical, including Florida and tropical and subtropical Americas, Africa, Asia, Australia and the Pacific Islands.
  • All parts are potentially poisonous if consumed.
  • Toxic to dogs, toxic to cats, toxic to horses.

Requirements

Hardiness 8 - 11
Plant Type Climbers, Perennials
Plant Family Convolvulaceae
Genus Ipomoea
Common names Morning Glory
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early, Mid, Late)
Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 4" - 6"
(10cm - 15cm)
Spread 10' - 60'
(3m - 18.3m)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Low
Soil Type Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Evergreen
Native Plants Alabama, Australia, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Northeast, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Southeast, Southwest, Texas, United States
Tolerance Drought, Salt
Attracts Bees, Butterflies
Garden Uses Ground Covers
Garden Styles Coastal Garden
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Alternative Plants to Consider

Ipomoea batatas (Sweet Potato)
Ipomoea cordatotriloba (Tievine)
Ipomoea hederifolia (Scarlet Creeper)
Ipomoea imperati (Beach Morning Glory)
Ipomoea pandurata (Wild Potato Vine)
Ipomoea × sloteri (Cardinal Climber)

Recommended Companion Plants

Muhlenbergia capillaris (Pink Muhly Grass)
Serenoa repens (Saw Palmetto)
Borrichia frutescens (Sea Ox-Eye)
Chrysobalanus icaco (Coco Plum)
Gaillardia pulchella (Indian Blanket)

Find In One of Our Guides or Gardens

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Best and Worst Companion Plants for Sweet Potatoes
Native Plant Alternatives to Ipomoea purpurea (Morning Glory)
Great Climbers and Vines for Mediterranean Gardens in Cool Countries
While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.
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Requirements

Hardiness 8 - 11
Plant Type Climbers, Perennials
Plant Family Convolvulaceae
Genus Ipomoea
Common names Morning Glory
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early, Mid, Late)
Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 4" - 6"
(10cm - 15cm)
Spread 10' - 60'
(3m - 18.3m)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Low
Soil Type Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Evergreen
Native Plants Alabama, Australia, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Northeast, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Southeast, Southwest, Texas, United States
Tolerance Drought, Salt
Attracts Bees, Butterflies
Garden Uses Ground Covers
Garden Styles Coastal Garden
How Many Plants
Do I Need?
Explore Great Plant Combination Ideas
Ipomoea (Morning Glory)
Not sure which Ipomoea (Morning Glory) to pick?
Compare Now

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