Herb: Wild Potato Vine

Latin name: Ipomoea pandurata

Synonyms: Convolvulus panduratus

Family: Convolvulaceae (Morning-glory Family)

Medicinal use of Wild Potato Vine:

A poultice of the root is applied to aching joints in the treatment of rheumatism. A tea made from the dried root is diuretic, expectorant and laxative. It has been used in the treatment of strangury and calculus diseases, abdominal pains etc. It also slightly influences the lungs, liver and kidneys without excessive diuresis or catharsis. Caution should be employed because the plant can be strongly laxative.

Description of the plant:

Perennial Climber

3.5 m
(11 feet)

June to

Habitat of the herb:

Fields, hedgerows and roadsides in dry open or partially shaded areas.

Edible parts of Wild Potato Vine:

Root - cooked. The young ones are best, they become very acrid as they get old. The roots can be up to 75cm long and 12cm in diameter and can weigh 7 kilos. Roots weighing 10 kilos or more are not unknown. They are best if given a long roasting. Roasted roots taste like sweet potato but with some bitterness.

Other uses of the herb:

An infusion of the plant has been used for soaking sweet potatoes in order to keep away bugs and moles.

Propagation of Wild Potato Vine:

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.

Cultivation of the herb:

Fields, hedgerows and roadsides in dry open or partially shaded areas.

Known hazards of Ipomoea pandurata:

There is a report that the root could be poisonous.

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.