|Ipomoea pandurata in bloom|
It is rarely cultivated but grows wild in North America appearing along roadsides, in fields and along fence rows. Arising from a deep vertical root, this perennial vine with alternate leaves, entwines itself over other vegetation. It sustains itself over the winter with a tuberous root similar to its better known relative, the Sweet Potato (I. batatas).
The plant is a "trailing vine" with "singly attached heart shaped leaves" and white bell shaped flowers,(2-4 inches, or 5-10 centimeters in size) which have pink to purple centers. The root is "large, vertical, [and] deeply buried"
The tuber can be baked or boiled like a potato. The taste can be described as a sweet potato that is somewhat bitter. Caution should be taken as some roots have more of a bitter taste than others and ought to be boiled in "several changes of water."
The roots when left uncooked have purgative properties.
- Ipomoea pandurata at Connecticut Botanical Society
- Ipomoea pandurata at Germplasm Resources Information Network
- Ipomoea pandurata at USDA Plants Database
- "Ipomoea pandurata". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved November 14, 2007.
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