Virginia Tech Weed Identification Guide

Red Morningglory: Ipomoea coccinea

Weed Description:  A twining and climbing annual vine with leaves that have several points along the basal margins.  Red morningglory is a weed of agronomic crops, nurseries, landscapes, pastures, hayfields, and noncrop areas.  Red morningglory is found from southern California east to Texas and north to Michigan.

Seedling:   Stems below the cotyledons (hypocotyls) are often tinted maroon and are without hairs.  Cotyledons are only somewhat indented or lobed, have rounded points, and are often tinted maroon, especially around the margin.

Leaves:  Occur on petioles, arranged alternately along the stem, and are heart-shaped in outline.  Leaves often have several points along the margins which helps to distinguish this weed from most other morningglories.

Stems:  Trailing, twining, or climbing and may reach 6 1/2 feet in length.

Flowers: Dark orange to red in color, approximately 1 to 1 1/4 inches long.

Fruit: A round capsule.

Identifying Characteristics:  The red flowers and leaves with points along the margins are both characteristics that help to distinguish this weed from most other similar morningglories.  When in the cotyledon stage, red morningglory may be confused with Ivyleaf Morningglory (Ipomoea hederacea) or Entireleaf Morningglory (Ipomoea hederacea var. integriuscula), however neither of these weeds should have a purplish tint along the margins, and the cotyledons of these weeds are generally more indented than those of red morningglory.