Ipomoea pandurata (man-of-the-earth, bigroot morning-glory, manroot, wild sweet-potato-vine)

description:  perennial vine

place of origin:  eastern North America

urban habitat: commonly found along roadsides, fences, in fields.

ecological function: food and habitat for wildlife.

history: Ipomoea pandurata is sometimes planted as an ornamental vine for its white and purple flowers but also grows wild. It is related to the sweet potato. Its roots are edible and many Native American tribes used parts of the plant medicinally to treat a wide variety of ailments including rheumatism, coughs, cholera, asthma, tuberculosis, kidney problems, abdominal pains, and as a diuretic, laxative, blood purifier, and insecticide.