Ipomoea pandurata
Wild potato vine or man-of-the-earth
Image of Ipomoea pandurata

Photo by Bradford S. Slaughter 

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Key Characteristics

Perennial trailing or climbing vine of various habitats; stem glabrous; leaves heart-shaped with an acuminate tip; flowers funnel-shaped, white with a reddish-purple center, large (8 cm).

Status and Rank

  • State Status: T
  • State Rank: S2
  • Global Rank: G5


County NameNumber of OccurrencesYear Last Observed
Distribution map for Ipomoea pandurata

Updated 5/15/2018. Information is summarized from MNFI's database of rare species and community occurrences. Data may not reflect true distribution since much of the state has not been thoroughly surveyed.


Known historically from a few collections in southern Lower Michigan where habitat was noted as woods and thickets, open fields, roadsides, and sandy ground. Recent collections are primarily from disturbed, weedy thickets in road and railroad rights-of-way, where the species may be adventive from populations in its more contiguous range south of Michigan.

Natural Community Types


For each species, lists of natural communities were derived from review of the nearly 6,500 element occurrences in the MNFI database, in addition to herbarium label data for some taxa. In most cases, at least one specimen record exists for each listed natural community. For certain taxa, especially poorly collected or extirpated species of prairie and savanna habitats, natural community lists were derived from inferences from collection sites and habitat preferences in immediately adjacent states (particularly Indiana and Illinois). Natural communities are not listed for those species documented only from altered or ruderal habitats in Michigan, especially for taxa that occur in a variety of habitats outside of the state.

Natural communities are not listed in order of frequency of occurrence, but are rather derived from the full set of natural communities, organized by Ecological Group. In many cases, the general habitat descriptions should provide greater clarity and direction to the surveyor. In future versions of the Rare Species Explorer, we hope to incorporate natural community fidelity ranks for each taxon.

Associated Plants

In its native barrens habitats, documented associates include Asclepias syriaca (common milkweed), A. tuberosa (butterfly weed), Euphorbia corollata (flowering spurge), E. cyparissias (cypress spurge), Quercus alba (white oak), Rhus copallina (shining sumac), and Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem). In disturbed areas, the species occurs with a variety of native and non-native species.


A status survey is recommended to compile more thorough habitat information. If found, it would likely benefit from activities that maintain a partially open canopy such as prescribed burning and control of excessive woody brush.

General Survey Guidelines

Random meander search covers areas that appear likely to have rare taxa, based on habitat and the judgment of the investigator.

Survey Methods

Page Citation

Michigan Natural Features Inventory. 2007. Rare Species Explorer (Web Application). Available online at http://mnfi.anr.msu.edu/explorer [Accessed Sep 24, 2018]


Survey References

Technical References

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