Beach Morning Glory, Goatsfoot

Family: Convolvulaceae
Genus: Ipomoea
Species: Ipomoea pes-caprae
Main Flower Colour: Pink


pomoea pes-caprae subsp. brasiliensis is a trailing glabrous (smooth) vine with purple stems that often root at the nodes. The fleshy oblong to suborbicular leaves are 3 to 10 cm long and notched at the tip. They are simple and alternately arranged. Flowers are axillary, solitary or in few-flowered cymes up to 15 cm long. The calyx has 5 unequal, ovate to elliptic sepals 8 to 13 mm long. The corolla is funnel-shaped, pink to rose-purple, 3 to 5 cm long, and shallowly 10-lobed. There are 5 stamens and the ovary is superior. The fruit is an ovoid to subglobose capsule, 12 to 17 mm long, containing 4 dark, ovoid, densely hairy seeds 6 to 10 mm long. (Whistler 1992)

Ipomoea pes-caprae subsp. brasiliensis is a prostrate, glabrous, somewhat succulent seashore plant. The stems contain a milky latex and may reach 20 meters in length. The oblong to rounded leaves have a long petiole (leaf stalk) and are slightly notched to shallowly bilobed. They are mucronate (i.e., ending in a sharp tip) at the apex and rounded to truncate or subcordate at the base, slightly leathery, and on the undersurface have a visible gland on each side at the base of the midrib. The inflorescence contains 1 to several flowers. Pedicels (flower stalks) are 2 to 5 cm long and slender. The sepals are obtuse or rounded at the apex and mucronate; the inner sepals are about 1 cm long, the 2 outer sepals are shorter. The fruit is an ovoid-globose capsule, 1.5 cm long that dehisces (naturally opens) into 4 valves.The capsule contains 4 densely dark brown pubescent seeds. (Liogier 1995)

Flowering start in January and ends in December.


The main flower colour is pink. Perennial prostrate shrub with woody rootstock and slender trailing stems. Deciduous. This dune species provides a very important job in the form of stabilisation and is often the first plant to colonise new exposed areas. Ipomoea pes-caprae subsp. brasiliensis (pes-caprae is Latin for ‘foot of a goat’), is aptly named from the shape of its leaf, and is mainly found on seaward slopes sending long runners down to the toe of the dunes. Although native to Australia, salt tolerant seeds float and are well dispersed by the ocean leading to a large distribution world wide.The creeper provides an important stabilising function on foredunes and helps to prevent further erosion from prevailing winds. Aboriginal people utilised the leaves and roots as a food source and used a decoction of the flowers to treat box jelly fish stings.


Medicinally, the plant has been used mainly for external application. The leaves and stem of this species are regarded as a contraceptive. Cribb (1981).

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Bio Regions

Arnhem Coast (ARC), Darwin Coastal (DAC)

Region Specifics

Distribution in Australia Occurs around much of the Australian coastline, north of Sydney on the east coast and north of Shark Bay on the west coast. Usually found just above sea level. Grows just above the high tide mark and in beach forest and other types of vegetation near sea level.

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