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Ipomoea muelleri – Poison Morning Glory (seed)


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Named after the intrepid Ferdinand von Mueller who first collected the type near Sturt Creek in the western Tanami Desert. Ipomoea muelleri is a prostrate scrambling vine with heart shaped leaves and funnel shaped rose-purple flowers with a darker throat.

Ipomoea muelleri lacks the tubers of other Australian species, but there is evidence that the roots are edible. Foliage and seeds reported to be poisonous to sheep and cattle hence the common name given by graziers. However, it is likely that the seeds possess some psychoactivity. An excellent ground cover that can be treated like an annual in most areas, the roots may survive a few seasons and spring back when conditions turn favourable.

Several ergoline alkaloids, known to be psychoactive in humans, were isolated from the seeds of I. muelleri, such as agroclavine, chanoclavine I, elymoclavine, ergine or LSA, erginine or isolysergic acid amide, ergometrine, festuclavine, lysergol, penniclavine, as well, isopenniclavine, α-dihydrolysergol, Isolysergol, isosetoclavine, setoclavine, molliclavine, isolysergamide, N-(1hydroxyethyl) chanoclavine II and ergometrinine (Der Marderosian et al., 1974; Hoffmann, 1963). Agroclavine and festuclavine were shown to be effective antimicrobial compounds and had significant cytostatic activity to a mouse lymphoma cell line. Agroclavine was also effective at inhibiting E. coli multiplication (Panaccione, 2005). Ergometrine or ergonovine has potent uterine againstction activity and is used as an oxytocic and in treating postpartum hemorrhages. Bleeding is reduced because of its vasoconstrictor effects (Dewick, 2002) (MEIRA, Marilena et al . Review of the genus Ipomoea: traditional uses, chemistry and biological activities. Rev. bras. farmacogn., Curitiba, v. 22, n. 3, June 2012.

Care and Cultivation of Ipomoea muelleri

Ipomoea muelleri seeds should be slightly nicked away from the embryo to speed germination. Likes adequate water and a full-sun to part-shade position in well drained soil. Quite tolerant of dry and hot conditions. Grows in sandy and clayey soils of inland Australia.

15 seeds per packet


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