Pink Morning Glory, Goat’s foot
Science name: Ipomoea pes-caprae
White Morning Glory
Science name: Ipomoea imperati (Vahl) Griseb.
A creeping, perennial vine with showy flowers, it is one of the most widely distributed drought and salt-tolerant plants on sandy beaches. The pioneering species grows just above the high tide line and has long trailing stems that sprawl out and help stabilize the sand, making conditions favourable for the establishment of other plants. Two species of Morning Glory are found along the beaches of Trinidad and Tobago: one has lavender pink, funnel-shaped flowers about 5 cm in diameter, and waxy, alternate leaves that are two-lobed and said to resemble a Goat’s footprint; the other has white flowers with yellow-ringed centres and more elongated leaves. In dense stands amongst the shiny green leaves, they create a picturesque scene. The flowers open in the early morning and shrivel by the afternoon. The seeds float, are resistant to salt water, and are dispersed by sea.