Ipomoea obscura (L.) Ker Gawl.
var. obscura

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Ipomoea obscura var. obscura

Photo: Bart Wursten
Vumba rd near Inn on the Vumba

Ipomoea obscura var. obscura

Photo: Bart Wursten
Cecil Kop Nature Reserve, Mutare.

Ipomoea obscura var. obscura

Photo: Bart Wursten
Lake Kyle Recreational Park

Ipomoea obscura var. obscura

Photo: Bart Wursten
Near western boundary, Zambezi National Park.

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Species details: Click on each item to see an explanation of that item (Note: opens a new window)

Synonyms: Convolvulus obscurus L.
Ipomoea fragilis Choisy
Ipomoea fragilis Choisy var. pubescens Hall. f.
Ipomoea obscura (L.) Ker Gawl. var. fragilis (Choisy) Meeuse
Common names: Wild petunia (English)
Frequency: Common
Status: Native
Perennial herb with trailing or twining stems up to 3 m long, growing from a narrow taproot. Leaves distinctly cordate (heart-shaped), 2.5-8.5 cm long, more or less pubescent on both surfaces; apex pointed; margin entire but wavy; petiole op to 11 cm long. Flowers pale apricot, yellow, cream or white, rarely with a purple centre. Capsule globose, tipped with the persistent style base.
Notes: See var. sagittifolia for comparison.
Derivation of specific name: obscura: indistinct, obscure
Habitat: In open woodland, grassland, savannah, cultivated land and road sides.
Altitude range: (metres) Up to 1700 m
Flowering time:Nov - Feb
Worldwide distribution: Widespread in tropical Africa, South Africa, Madagascar, Mascarene Islands and Seychelles. Also in tropical Asia, Australia (Queensland), Fiji, China and Taiwan.
Zimbabwe distribution: N,W,C,E,S
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Images last updated: Friday 27 January 2017

Bandeira, S., Bolnick, D. & Barbosa, F. (2007). Wild Flowers of Southern Mozambique Universidade Eduardo Mondlane, Maputo, Mozambique Page 171. (Includes a picture).

Baumann, G. (2005). Photographic Guide to Wildflowers of Malawi Wildlife and Environmental Society of Malawi Pages 116 - 117. (Includes a picture).

Chapano, C. & Mugarisanwa, N.H. (2003). Plants of the Matobo District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 22.

Da Silva, M.C., Izidine, S. & Amude, A.B. (2004). A preliminary checklist of the vascular plants of Mozambique. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 30 Sabonet, Pretoria Page 48.

Fabian, A. & Germishuizen, G. (1997). Wild Flowers of Northern South Africa. Fernwood Press, Vlaeburg. Pages 334 - 335. as Ipomoea obscura var. fragilis (Includes a picture).

Gonçalves, M.L. (1987). Convolvulaceae Flora Zambesiaca 8(1) Pages 91 - 92.

Heath, A. & Heath, R. (2009). Field Guide to the Plants of Northern Botswana including the Okavango Delta Kew Publishing Page 232. (Includes a picture).

Kirby, G. (2013). Wild Flowers of Southeast Botswana Struik Nature, Cape Town South Africa Page 157. (Includes a picture).

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 36.

Phiri, P.S.M. (2005). A Checklist of Zambian Vascular Plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 32 Page 43.

Pooley, E. (1998). A Field Guide to the Wild Flowers of KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Region. Natal Flora Publications Trust. Durban. Pages 304 - 305. (Includes a picture).

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 50.

Shone, D.K. & Drummond, R.B. (1965). Poisonous Plants of Rhodesia Ministry of Agriculture, Rhodesia Page 59.

Timberlake, J.R. & Childes, S.L. (2004). Biodiversity of the Four Corners Area: Technical Reviews Volume Two (Chapter 5-15) Appendix 5-1: Plant Checklist Occasional Publications in Biodiversity 15 Page 204.

Van Wyk, B. & Malan, S. (1988). Field Guide to the Wild Flowers of the Witwatersrand and Pretoria Region Struik, Cape Town Pages 126 - 127. as Ipomoea obscura var. fragilis (Includes a picture).

Other sources of information about Ipomoea obscura var. obscura:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Ipomoea obscura var. obscura
Flora of Caprivi: Ipomoea obscura var. obscura
Flora of Malawi: Ipomoea obscura var. obscura
Flora of Mozambique: Ipomoea obscura var. obscura
Flora of Zambia: Ipomoea obscura var. obscura

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Ipomoea obscura
African Plant Database: Ipomoea obscura
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Ipomoea obscura
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Ipomoea obscura
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Ipomoea obscura
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Ipomoea obscura
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Ipomoea obscura
JSTOR Plant Science: Ipomoea obscura
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Ipomoea obscura
Plants of the World Online: Ipomoea obscura
Tropicos: Ipomoea obscura
Wikipedia: Ipomoea obscura

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-24

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2024). Flora of Zimbabwe: Species information: Ipomoea obscura var. obscura.
https://www.zimbabweflora.co.zw/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=147860, retrieved 24 June 2024

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