Field of Science

Friday Fabulous Flower - Beach Morningglory

Spotted this nice specimen peaking up out of the sand where it had almost gotten buried by drifting sand, but no worries, this is a tough plant.  The beach morningglory (Ipomoea imperati) is adapted to and grows on coastal dunes where it helps stabilize the sand.  The sprawling "vines" often get buried and you only see the distinctive leaves showing, and in the case the flower bud was poking up just enough for the flower to open even if the base of the corolla tube was in the sand. This morningglory is found all along the SE coast of N. America, but the funny thing is that this plant really gets around, and the Phactor saw it first on a sandy coast in SE Asia!  No idea of where it is actually native, where it started its travels from.  This makes you assume it's dispersed by seawater, but not sure about this.  Anyone?  And if ever you want a photographic challenge, a white flower in strong sunlight in a highly reflective place (sand) is it.  Fortunately my camera gives the photographer a lot of override latitude to correct the exposure and even still it took a couple of tries.  

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