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 tricolor Cav.

Tender deciduous twiner with cordate leaves and reddish-blue trumpet-shaped flowers.  Often grown as an annual.  [JD, RHSD, Hortus].

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘Of the Genus Ipomoea, as distinguished from Convolvulus, no less than one hundred and sixty-five species are described in Roemer and Schultes.  The species which compose it are chiefly inhabitants of the tropics and remarkable for the beauty of their flowers, which, though they be individually short-lived, are succeeded so rapidly by others that there are few more showy ornaments of the forests in warm countries, or of the stoves in our own; provided there be space enough devoted to the great extent of their stems and branches.  They are rendered valuable too, by the peculiar and well-known properties of some of them.  One species, I. Jalapa, yields the Jalap of the shops, one of the most useful of medicines; whilst another, the I. Batatas, or Sweet Potato, is an important article of food in the tropics, as the Potato is in Europe.  In our collections, the beauty of the flowers has been the chief recommendation of these plants: but there are, perhaps, few, if any, that can equal in this respect the one now under consideration [Ipomoea rubro-caerulea]. […] A twining, glabrous plant, with rounded herbaceous branches, tinged with purple. […] Corolla in bud, white, with the limb of a rich lake red, which, when the flower is fully expanded, becomes of a fine purplish blue.’  [BM t.3297/1834]. Introduced to Britain in 1823.  [JD].

History at Camden Park

Seed ordered from Warner & Warner, Seedsmen and Florists, Cornhill, on 12th April 1846 [MP A2933-1, p.131], although this plant is not listed in The Gardener’s Chronicle advertisement of 12th April, 1845, referred to by Macarthur.  Seed was also ordered from Hurst and McMullen, Seedsmen and Florists of London, on 8th April 1846 [MP A2933-1, p.132].


Published Oct 05, 2009 - 02:12 PM | Last updated Jul 16, 2010 - 03:54 PM

Illustrated are cordate leaves and reddish-blue trumpet-shaped flowers.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.3297/1834.

Ipomoea tricolor Cav. | BM t.3297/1834 as Ipomoea rubro-caerulea | BHL

Family Convolvulaceae
Region of origin


  • Pharbitis tricolor (Cav.) Chittenden           
  • Ipomoea rubro-caerulea Hook.
  • Pharbitis rubro-caerulea Planch.
  • Ipomoea hookeri G.Don
  • Ipomoea tricolor Cav.
Common Name

Mexican Morning Glory

Name in the Camden Park Record

Ipomoea rubro-caerulea 

Confidence level high