Herb: Moonflower

Latin name: Ipomoea alba

Synonyms: Calonyction aculeatum, Calonyction album

Family: Convolvulaceae (Morning-glory Family)

Medicinal use of Moonflower:

The whole herb is used in treating snakebite.

Description of the plant:

Perennial Climber

10 m
(33 feet)

July to

Perennial Climber

Habitat of the herb:

Wet forests, watercourses and disturbed areas in China.

Edible parts of Moonflower:

Young leaves and fleshy calyces - cooked. Steamed and eaten as a vegetable or used in curries, soups, stews etc. They can also be dried for later use. Seed - eaten when young.

Propagation of the herb:

Pre-soak the seed for 12 hours in warm water, or scarify the seed, and sow in individual pots in a greenhouse in early spring. The seed usually germinates in 1 - 3 weeks at 22C. Plants are extremely resentful of root disturbance, even when they are quite small, and should be potted up almost as soon as they germinate. Grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter then plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of side shoots in a peaty soil. Layering. Plants form tubercles on their stems. These can be stored overwinter in a slightly moist medium such as sand or leafmould, keeping them in a cool but frost-free place. Pot them up in early spring.

Cultivation of Moonflower:

Wet forests, watercourses and disturbed areas in China.

Known hazards of Ipomoea alba:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.