Originating in the
tropics, this twining vine grows vigorously, especially in moist sheltered
areas. Most often seen in neglected gardens and bushland edges, it smothers
understorey plants and even large trees in its quest for
The stem is pale and hairy and climbs by twining around a
support. Leaves are large and heart-shaped or lobed.
Morning Glory is
most easily recognised by its large bluish-purple bell-shaped flowers seen from
spring through summer and autumn. On related species, the flowers may be white
Morning Glory rarely sets fruit in Sydney. Rather it relies on
its vigorous growth habits to spread. It is transferred from garden to bushland
by the dumping of off-cuts in garden waste.
Control & Removal Methods
Where there are large areas of Morning Glory (and no other
plants you wish to retain) the leaves can be sprayed with
Alternatively, vines can be removed by hand by tracing each
stem and teasing out the roots produced at each growth node. Where plants are
well established a deep tap root may be present. This must be dug out, or if
digging is too difficult, the root and stem can be scraped with a knife (do not
sever the stem) and painted with glyphosate.
Vines up trees can be cut
and left to die. After it is dead, the vine will quickly rot or you can gently
pull vines from trees by working around the tree, taking care not to damage
Keep an eye out for bird nests or ring-tailed possum dreys
amongst Morning Glory. Wait until bird nesting season is over before removing
Morning Glory or leave the cut vines in place to die slowly allowing ring-tailed
possums time to relocate.
Whether you spray or hand weed, any area where
Morning Glory has been removed must be monitored monthly as any missed stem or
root will reshoot and grow very quickly. You won’t get it first go; perseverance
is the key.