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Ipomoea indica Risk Assessment

Common names: blue morningglory

Ipomoea indica -- California

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Evaluation Summary
Summary: 
General Evaluation Information
Date of Evaluation: 
April 12, 2016
Evaluation Time (hrs): 
2 Hours
Evaluation Status: 
Completed
Plant Information
Plant Material: 
If the plant is a cultivar, and if the cultivar's behavior differs from its parent's (behavior), explain how: 
Regional Information
Region Name: 
Climate Matching Map
These maps were built using a toolkit created in collaboration between GreenInfo Network, PlantRight, Cal-IPC, and Agricultural Sustainability Institute at UC Davis.
Climate Matching Maps PDF: 
Invasive History and Climate Matching
1. Has the species (or cultivar or variety, if applicable; applies to subsequent "species" questions) become naturalized where it is not native?
Yes or No: 
Yes
Points: 
1
Confidence Level: 
High
Answer / Justification: 
Madagascar; widely naturalized in tropics around the world (eFloras.org); Zimbabwe (Flora of Zimbabwe). Widely naturalised in, particularly in the coastal districts of eastern Australia. Common in eastern Queensland and the coastal districts of eastern New South Wales. Also naturalised in south-western and western Western Australia, in south-eastern South Australia, in southern Victoria, on Lord Howe Island and on Norfolk Island. Naturalised overseas in southern Europe, southern Africa, New Zealand, southern USA and on several Pacific islands (Weeds of Australia Biosecurity Queensland Edition).
Reference(s): 
2. Is the species (or cultivar or variety) noted as being naturalized in the US or world in a similar climate?
Yes or No: 
Yes
Points: 
2
Confidence Level: 
High
Answer / Justification: 
Madagascar; widely naturalized in tropics around the world (eFloras.org); Zimbabwe (Flora of Zimbabwe). Widely naturalised in, particularly in the coastal districts of eastern Australia. Common in eastern Queensland and the coastal districts of eastern New South Wales. Also naturalised in south-western and western Western Australia, in south-eastern South Australia, in southern Victoria, on Lord Howe Island and on Norfolk Island. Naturalised overseas in southern Europe, southern Africa, New Zealand, southern USA and on several Pacific islands (Weeds of Australia Biosecurity Queensland Edition). Overlaps with climates in south Africa and southern Europe, as well as Arizona, and coastal and riparian habitats in California (Cal-IPC).
Reference(s): 
3. Is the species (or cultivar or variety) noted as being invasive in the U.S. or world?
Yes or No: 
Yes
Points: 
2
Confidence Level: 
High
Answer / Justification: 
Prohibited noxious weed in AZ and noxious weed in Arkansas (USDA-NRCS PLANTS). I. indica is a weed in New Zealand and Hawaii. Blue morning glory (Ipomoea indica) is a significant environmental weed in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria, and an environmental weed in South Australia and Western Australia. It was also recently listed as a priority environmental weed in at least one Natural Resource Management region (Weeds of Australia Biosecurity Queensland Edition). Ipomoea indica is a problem weed in Europe, southern Africa, and Oceania (congeneric WRA: Weed Risk Assessment for Ipomoea biflora (L.) Pers. (Convolvulaceae) – Bell vine). Invasive in Australia, New Zealand, China, Taiwan, and tropical islands throughout the world (PIER). It has become a noxious weed and invasive species in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, California and Portugal (Wikipedia).
Reference(s): 
4. Is the species (or cultivar or variety) noted as being invasive in the US or world in a similar climate?
Yes or No: 
Yes
Points: 
3
Confidence Level: 
High
Answer / Justification: 
Prohibited noxious weed in AZ and noxious weed in Arkansas (USDA-NRCS PLANTS). I. indica is a weed in New Zealand and Hawaii. Blue morning glory (Ipomoea indica) is a significant environmental weed in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria, and an environmental weed in South Australia and Western Australia. It was also recently listed as a priority environmental weed in at least one Natural Resource Management region (Weeds of Australia Biosecurity Queensland Edition). Ipomoea indica is a problem weed in Europe, southern Africa, and Oceania (congeneric WRA: Weed Risk Assessment for Ipomoea biflora (L.) Pers. (Convolvulaceae) – Bell vine). Invasive in Australia, New Zealand, China, Taiwan, and tropical islands throughout the world (PIER). It has become a noxious weed and invasive species in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, California and Portugal (Wikipedia). Per unidentified reviewer: It is incorrect to say that it's a noxious weed in California. See https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/plant/ipc/encycloweedia/weedinfo/winfo_table-sci.... I don't trust Wikipedia as a reference for species being noxious weeds as I've found wrong information in it before. Noxious weed is a specific legal term (unlike invasive), so use either the USDA Plants database or the California noxious weed list to confirm that it is noxious. You have enough other evidence that this change will not affect the score for the question.
5. Are other species of the same genus (or closely related genera) invasive in a similar climate?
Yes or No: 
Yes
Points: 
1
Confidence Level: 
High
Answer / Justification: 
Its congener, I. congesta, is listed as a weed in Taiwan, Hawaii, New Zealand, West Polynesia and the USA. Thirteen invasive congeners recorded in Queensland are I. alba, I. batatas, I. cairica, I. carnea subsp. fistulosa, I. hederaceae, I. hederifolia, I. nil, I. ochracea, I. pestigridis, I. purpurea, I. quamoclit, I. triloba. I. alba (moon flower) and I. quamoclit (cypress vine or morning glory) are listed as potential environmental weeds in Australia (Weeds of Australia Biosecurity Queensland Edition). I. biflora is considered potentially invasive in the U.S. (Weed Risk Assessment for Ipomoea biflora (L.) Pers. (Convolvulaceae) – Bell vine).
Reference(s): 
6. Is the species (or cultivar or variety) found predominately in a climate matching the region of concern?
Yes or No: 
Yes
Points: 
2
Confidence Level: 
High
Answer / Justification: 
Generally found in humid and subhumid forests, coastal habitats, riverine vegetation, disturbed sites, anthropogenic habitats (eFloras; Flora of Zimbabwe). I. indica is widespread in the tropical Pacific, the Americas, Asia and Africa. Preferred climate ranges from tropical to warm temperate (Auckland Regional Council 1998). It is quite susceptible to frosts (Weeds of Australia Biosecurity Queensland Edition). Grows best in USDA Zones 9-11; already present in California (Dave's Garden). Globally distributed worldwide (iNaturalist).
Reference(s): 
Impact on Native Plants and Animals
7. Does this plant displace native plants and dominate (overtop or smother) the plant community in areas where it has established?
Yes or No: 
Yes
Points: 
1
Confidence Level: 
High
Answer / Justification: 
I. indica is an opportunistic coloniser of open, disturbed habitats. Under favourable conditions of full sun, ample moisture and fertile soil it can grow very rapidly, smothering all other vegetation. Its climbing habit enables it to compete successfully with trees and shrubs on the edges of forests and along riparian zones. Its rapidly growing stolons can form dense mats over the ground. In Queensland, I. indica exists as isolated, small populations scattered along the east coast of Queensland. One of the largest infestations exists on a hillside near Montville/Maleny in coastal south-east Queensland. There is no evidence that I. indica is having an impact on primary production and suggestions that is poses a significant threat to native vegetation are largely speculative. I. indica prefers highly disturbed habitats where the original native vegetation has been fragmented or totally destroyed. For this reason, its environmental impact is probably limited. At some locations, it might be hindering regeneration of native plants and there is little doubt that it can smother native plants on the edges of rainforests. Perhaps most importantly, large areas of I. indica have dramatic visual impact, particularly in the Maleny region which is heavily promoted as a tourist destination. A long-lived (i.e. perennial) twining climber growing up to 15 m high, but sometimes scrambling over low vegetation or creeping along the ground. Blue morning glory's thick, smothering growth is a common sight on many rural roadsides and forest edges. Climbs high into canopies of native vegetation. Creates significant shading hazard for other species. Twining stems choke adjacent seedlings and smother mature plants (Weeds of Australia Biosecurity Queensland Edition). This perennial morning glory has vivid blue flowers over a long season (plants can be seen on an arbor near Dos Coyotes restaurant in south Davis) (Cardoons and other alien invaders).
Reference(s): 
8. Is the plant noted as promoting fire and/or changing fire regimes?
Yes or No: 
No
Points: 
0
Confidence Level: 
Medium
Answer / Justification: 
An exhaustive Google/Google Scholar search did not reveal any evidence of fire promotion or changes to fire regimes, and this defaults to a "no" answer.
Reference(s): 
9. Is the plant a health risk to humans or animals/fish? Has the species been noted as impacting grazing systems?
Yes or No: 
No
Points: 
0
Confidence Level: 
Medium
Answer / Justification: 
It appears to be rare in areas that are subject to constant grazing by cattle but can thrive soon after stock are removed from a pasture (Weeds of Australia Biosecurity Queensland Edition). Seeds a major toxin (CalFlora). An exhaustive Google/Google Scholar search did not reveal any additional evidence of health risk or impacts to grazing systems, and this defaults to a "no" answer.
Reference(s): 
10. Does the plant produce impenetrable thickets, blocking or slowing movement of animals, livestock, or humans?
Yes or No: 
No
Points: 
0
Confidence Level: 
Medium
Answer / Justification: 
While this plant can climb and smother other vegetation, an exhaustive Google/Google Scholar search did not reveal any evidence of formation of thickets that block passage, and this defaults to a "no" answer.
Reference(s): 
Reproductive Strategies
11. Does this species (or cultivar or variety) reproduce and spread vegetatively?
Yes or No: 
Yes
Points: 
1
Confidence Level: 
High
Answer / Justification: 
This plant reproduces vegetatively via rooting stems and can sometimes also produce seed (outside Australia and New Zealand) (Weeds of Australia Biosecurity Queensland Edition). Cut stems resprout vigorously (PIER).
12. If naturally detached fragments from this plant are capable of producing new plants, is this a common method of reproduction for the plant?
Yes or No: 
Yes
Points: 
1
Confidence Level: 
High
Answer / Justification: 
I. indica reproduces primarily from broken fragments of stems that produce new roots at the nodes (Weeds of Australia Biosecurity Queensland Edition).
Reference(s): 
13. Does the species (or cultivar or variety) commonly produce viable seed?
Yes or No: 
No
Points: 
0
Confidence Level: 
High
Answer / Justification: 
I. indica does not produce viable seeds in Australia. Similarly, seed production in New Zealand is rare. The few seeds that are produced are mainly spread by water (Weeds of Australia Biosecurity Queensland Edition). Does not produce viable seed (Dave's Garden). In California, spreads by seed as well as by rooting everywhere it touches the ground (California Gardens). Though it scarcely ever reseeds, a single plant can engulf anything nearby to about a 30 foot distance (Cardoons and other alien invaders). There are some morning glory species which are strictly annual (e.g. I. nil), producing many seeds, and some perennial species (e.g. I. indica) which are propagated by cuttings (Wikipedia). Very little evidence was found of seed production being the primary mode of reproduction for this plant, even in California, and this defaults to a "no" answer.
Reference(s): 
14. Does this plant produce copious viable seeds each year (> 1000)?
Yes or No: 
No
Points: 
0
Confidence Level: 
High
Answer / Justification: 
Once established, it produces large numbers of flowers for most of the year. New flowers open each day fading to pink by late afternoon. I. indica does not produce viable seeds in Australia. Similarly, seed production in New Zealand is rare. The few seeds that are produced are mainly spread by water (Weeds of Australia Biosecurity Queensland Edition). In California, spreads by seed as well as by rooting everywhere it touches the ground (California Gardens). Though it scarcely ever reseeds, a single plant can engulf anything nearby to about a 30 foot distance (Cardoons and other alien invaders). There are some morning glory species which are strictly annual (e.g. I. nil), producing many seeds, and some perennial species (e.g. I. indica) which are propagated by cuttings (Wikipedia). Per Dave's Garden, does not produce viable seed. Very little evidence was found of seed production being the primary mode of reproduction for this plant, even in California, and this defaults to a "no" answer.
Reference(s): 
15. Is there significant germination (>25%) of seeds the next growing season, with no requirement of an infrequent environmental condition for seeds to germinate (i.e. fire) or long dormancy period?
Yes or No: 
No
Points: 
0
Confidence Level: 
High
Answer / Justification: 
No; does not generally produce viable seed (see questions 13-14).
Reference(s): 
16. Does this plant produce viable seed within the first three years (for an herbaceous species) to five years (for a woody species) after germination?
Yes or No: 
No
Points: 
0
Confidence Level: 
High
Answer / Justification: 
No; does not generally produce viable seed (see questions 13-15).
Reference(s): 
17. Does this plant continuously produce seed for >3 months each year or does seed production occur more than once a year?
Yes or No: 
No
Points: 
0
Confidence Level: 
High
Answer / Justification: 
Flowers year-round in most countries (eFloras). Once established, it produces large numbers of flowers for most of the year. New flowers open each day fading to pink by late afternoon (Weeds of Australia Biosecurity Queensland Edition). However, this is a "no" because this plant does not generally produce viable seed (see questions 13-16).
Reference(s): 
Dispersal
18. Are the plant’s propagules frequently dispersed long distance (>100 m) by mammals or birds or via domestic animals?
Yes or No: 
Yes
Points: 
1
Confidence Level: 
High
Answer / Justification: 
Stem fragments are commonly spread by water, animals and in dumped garden waste (Weeds of Australia Biosecurity Queensland Edition).
Reference(s): 
19. Are the plant’s propagules frequently dispersed long distance (>100 m) by wind or water?
Yes or No: 
Yes
Points: 
1
Confidence Level: 
High
Answer / Justification: 
I. indica does not produce viable seeds in Australia. Similarly, seed production in New Zealand is rare. The few seeds that are produced are mainly spread by water. Stem fragments are commonly spread by water, animals and in dumped garden waste (Weeds of Australia Biosecurity Queensland Edition).
Reference(s): 
20. Are the plant’s propagules frequently dispersed via contaminated seed (agriculture or wildflower packets), equipment, vehicles, boats or clothing/shoes?
Yes or No: 
Yes
Points: 
1
Confidence Level: 
High
Answer / Justification: 
I. indica reproduces primarily from broken fragments of stems that produce new roots at the nodes. Hence, the most common mode of dispersal is believed to be as a consequence of gardeners dumping unwanted vegetative material. Stem fragments are commonly spread by water, animals and in dumped garden waste (Weeds of Australia Biosecurity Queensland Edition).
Reference(s): 
Evaluation Notes

Reviewed by Elizabeth Brusati (edbrusatic@cal-ipc.org, Cal-IPC) and Tim Hyland (tim.hyland@parks.ca.gov, CA State Parks). Added a note to Q4; nothing else changes. 

 

Websites consulted for this screen included:

Tropicos: http://www.tropicos.org/Name/8500780;

GBIF: no record for this species;

ARS GRIN: https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxonomydetail.aspx?311586;

USDA-NRCS PLANTS: http://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=IPIN;

eFloras: http://efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=12&taxon_id=210000739; http://efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=5&taxon_id=210000739; http://efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=3&taxon_id=210000739;

Flora of Zimbabwe: http://www.zimbabweflora.co.zw/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=147760;

Queensland WRA: https://www.daf.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0009/69174/IPA-Ipomoea-Indica-Risk-Assessment.pdf; https://www.business.qld.gov.au/industry/agriculture/species/non-declared-pests/weeds/blue-morning-glory;  

USDA WRA (congener): https://www.aphis.usda.gov/plant_health/plant_pest_info/weeds/downloads/wra/Ipomoea-biflora.pdf;

Weeds of Australia: http://keyserver.lucidcentral.org/weeds/data/media/Html/ipomoea_indica.htm;

PIER: http://www.hear.org/pier/species/ipomoea_indica.htm;

Commercial Availability info: http://www.cnplx.info/nplx/species?taxon=Ipomoea+indica;

Jepson Manual: http://herbaria4.herb.berkeley.edu/eflora_display.php?tid=29055;

Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ipomoea_indica; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morning_glory

Total PRE Score

  • < 13 : accept (low risk of invasiveness)
  • 13 - 15 : evaluate further
  • > 15 : reject (high risk of invasiveness)

PRE Score: 
17
Number of questions answered: 
20
Screener Confidence (%): 
77.0
PRE Content Access and Privacy
Evaluation visibility: 
Public - accessible to all site users

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