Canyon Morning Glory (Ipomoea barbatisepala)

Map of Arizona. Counties are colored green where the species may be found.
Ipomoea barbatisepala range map. USDA PLANTS Database.

Close-up of canyon morning glory.
Close-up of canyon morning glory. Photo by D. Falk.

Canyon morning glory flowers and vine.
Canyon morning glory flowers and vine. Photo by D. Falk.

If you are hiking in any of the Sky Island mountain ranges during the summer rainy season, you will see an explosion of morning glories. There are 6 to 8 different species in a multitude of colors including red, white, blue, and purple. All species of morning glory bloom in the morning hours (hence the name), so you need to be out early to see them in all their glory.

Canyon morning glory has purple-blue flowers (sometimes white), about 0.75 inches long. The color is so different from most of the background that even with relatively small flowers the blossoms can be seen from a distance as this vine sprawls over rocks and other plants. The leaves are lobed and smooth. The Canyon morning glory can be 5 to 6 feet in length and is found from 2,800 to 6,000 feet in elevation, blooming from August to November. Canyon morning glory grows on rocky slopes and washes in grassland and oak-woodlands of the mountains.