The Asteridae
Family Overview - The Solanales
Convolvulaceae - the Morning Glory Family
Diversity:  Herbs, mostly twining without tendrils, some shrubs, and rarely trees in overt 55 genera and ca. 1,600 species.  Flowers quite showy, as indicated by the domesticated morning glory (Ipomoea purpurea) and the root crop of Texas and many other parts of the world, the sweet potato (I. batatas).

Distribution:  Worldwide, but with greatest diversity in the tropics. We have 12 genera and 63 species in the Texas flora.

Floral structure:

Significant features:  Classic Asteridae in terms of general floral structure with actinomorphy and hypogyny placing it in the genral area of the Solanales and the tendency toward funnelform, plicate corollas marking this family.  Other contrasting characters (within the Solanales context) include latex production in many taxa, separate sepals that are often closely subtended by bracts, and the bicarpellate gynoecium often contains a false septum producing 4 locules that often carry fewer ovules/seeds that other families of the order.

Floral Structure - Ipomoea purpurea
'contorted' bud 
plicate corolla

Other taxa: (see also the University of Hawaii)

Dichondra carolinensis - a weed of local lawns
Convolvulus equitans - from the Edwards Plateau 
Ipomoea cordatotriloba - a local weed

More information on the Convolvulaceae

Return to Lecture Notes, the Biology 301 homepage, or the Asteridae page
23 Mar 2011