Flora of Barro Colorado Island

Ipomoea batatas

(L.) Poir. in Lam., Encycl. Méth. Bot. 6:14. 1804

I. triloba sensu auct. non L.

Camote, Sweet potato

Vine; stems and petioles usually very sparsely long-­pubescent. Petioles 3-12 cm long, square; blades ovate, long-acuminate at apex, deeply cordate and palmately veined at base, 2.5-12 (20) cm long, 2.5-10 (18) cm wide, entire, dentate or deeply lobed, glabrous except the veins very sparsely pubescent. Cymes axillary, bearing several flowers (7-15); peduncles 4-9 cm long; pedicels bracteate, 1-6 mm long; sepals 5, oblong, 8-10 mm long, medially ribbed, narrowly long-acuminate, sometimes with long trichomes on outside, usually ciliolate; corolla to ca 3.5 cm long (longer elsewhere), the tube violet outside, red­violet inside, darker near base, glabrous except for white­-tipped, glandular trichomes near base inside (also on base of filaments), the limb white, broadly spreading at anthe­sis (as all Ipomoea species); stamens 5, of unequal lengths, 1.3-2.5 cm long; ovary densely hispid; style ca 2 mm long; stigmas obscurely bilobed. Capsules ovoid, ca 5 mm long, splitting into 3 valves, glabrous or hispid on all but basal third; seeds 4, globose, ca 3 mm long, dark brown, glabrous. Croat 4563, 7250.

Occasional, in the Laboratory Clearing. Flowers and fruits from October to July, especially in the dry season. The species is variable and elsewhere may have lobed leaves.

Probably native to Mexico; now cultivated throughout the tropics. In Panama, ecologically variable; known from tropical moist forest in the Canal Zone, Colón, San Blas, Panama, and Darién, from premontane moist forest in Colón, Chiriqui, and Panama, and from premontane wet forest in Chiriqui, Coclé, and Panama.