Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Ipomoea purpurea (L.) Roth var. major

Frost tender, annual twining climber with slender, hairy and bristly stems, ovate, entire or 3-lobed leaves, to 10cm long, and cymes of 3-7, sometimes single, trumpet-shaped flowers in pink, purple-blue, magenta or white, sometimes striped, mainly in summer.  To 3m.  [RHSE, Hortus].

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘Is an annual plant which grows naturally in Asia and America, but has long been cultivated for ornament in the English gardens, and is generally known by the title of convolvulus major.’  [Miller, quoted in BM t.113/1790].  Introduced to Britain in 1629.  [PD].  Paxton’s lists the varieties caerulea, blue; incarnata, pink; leucantha, white; and varia, striped.  The latter is figured in Curtis’s botanical Magazine.  [BM t.1682/1814].  Ipomoea Burridgi is perhaps typical of the several varieties available to Victorian gardeners, this from a description of annuals: ‘This plant resembles the common Convolvulus Major, of which it is a variety.  It is a profuse bloomer, with rosy-pink flowers, melting into white in the centre.  It is well adapted for covering trellis work.’  [Gard. Chron. 1855].   Flore des Serres beautifully figured a number of colour forms under the name Pharbitis hispida, including violacea.  [FS f.1079/1856].

History at Camden Park

Listed in all published catalogues [H.81/1843].  Common in the Camden area including occasionally in the gardens.  A common weed in parts of Australia, including the Sydney region.  [Beadle].  A wide range of colour forms occur locally, ranging from white, through pink to deep purple, including a form very similar to that shown here.


Convolvulus major Gilib. (before 1814) = Calystegia sepium (L.) R.Br., an Australian species that is known in the Camden area, but this is unlikely to be Macarthur’s plant.



Published Feb 07, 2009 - 03:04 PM | Last updated Jul 16, 2010 - 03:30 PM

A twining climber with heart-shaped leaves and blue and red trumpet-shaped flower.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.113, 1790.

Ipomoea purpurea (L.) Roth | BM t.113/1790 | BHL

Family Convolvulaceae
Region of origin


  • Convolvulus major Hort. ex Nichols
  • Pharbitis purpurea Lunell
  • Pharbitis hispida Choisy
Common Name

Common morning glory, Annual morning glory

Name in the Camden Park Record

Convolvulus major 

Confidence level medium