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Sweet Potato something?

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Jun 06, 2013, 09:00 PM
Sweet Potato something?
I bought a plant at a yard sale a year or so ago and the woman said it was a sweet potato vine. I'm not so sure as it gets humongous white blooms at dawn and looks more like a bush than a vine. It doesn't produce anything except there are pods that fall off that look like 1" burrs. I'm in Phoenix and this thing thrives in heat or cold. It froze over the winter but came right back. Any ideas what this is?

Jun 07, 2013, 10:55 AM
this is the picture.

Jun 07, 2013, 12:27 PM
From a distance it looks like a Datura a/k/a Angel's Trumpet.

Sweet potato vines usually are vines, and sometimes bushy vines. It's possible a sweet potato could be tricked into a bushy form if it's pinched back, but I've never seen blooms on sweet potatoes.

I think you have a Datura meteloides, Evening Fragrance:

Do the pods look like this?

These are beautiful plants but highly toxic if eaten. If you have children, keep them away from the plant.

Otherwise, it's a beautiful plant. It also is available in lilac shades. The Blackcurrant Swirl is stunning; it reminds me of blueberry and vanilla ice cream.

Now, I have a question for you. What did you use to hang the wall plants on what looks to be a block wall? I've always wanted to do that in my garden.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: GardenSprite,
Jun 07, 2013, 05:11 PM
The pots came with a hole drilled in them and are meant to hang. I used a toggle bolt (Big) into the hollow block with a large stainless washer. I ran 1/4 drip up the edge of the block - the pillars are about and 1" out from the fence portion. They've been up for over 6 years. I just replanted the lantana this year - I wanted red, rather than the purple I had before.

Warning - only do this with hard glazed pots, not the mexican clay. I tried the mexican clay and before I got to the third one the first one cracked and crashed to the ground.

Also, note the flashing at the bottom I used to direct the excess water away from the block to prevent staining. You can work with this to shape it so it waters something below it.
Jun 07, 2013, 05:13 PM
I'm going to check the leaf shape and fragrance on these. The seed pods look exactly like what you show. I'll let you know.
this plant is loved by everyone who sees it and it is indestructible, so I'd love to identify it once and for all. I don't think it is sweet potato anything myself.
Jun 07, 2013, 05:14 PM
Why do the pictures I post keep disappearing? Or is it just my viewing them. Can you still see the pictures?
Jun 07, 2013, 09:24 PM
Thanks for the tips on hanging the plants.

I've had some experience with Mexican pots cracking so I only use them for decoration other than with plants. I might just use plastic with vines to hang down and cover the pot since I like to have the pots covered by foliage anyway.

I'm really not able to see the flashing in the photo, but it might be blocked by the expanse of the bush in question. It's a good thought though. I might be lazy and just put a little rain barrel/pot underneath to catch any excess water. Big Grin

I'm still seeing the photos. I'm not sure what's happening that they're not visible to you. That's odd.

I think the shape and angle of the flowers will help in determining whether your plant is a Datura. But I don't think it's a sweet potato, although there are more varieties being hybridized and it could be one of the newer ones.

Still, apparently the ornamental sweet potatoes are related to the morning glory, which has an open, roundish single petal bloom with only a short tubular floral stem. Your blooms have long tubular stems.

In this link, the top 2 on the left and top 2 on the right in the first row show various ornamental sweet potatoes. In the first and fourth photos of the fourth row, and the first photo of the 7th row (last row on page 2) are more ornamentals, with a wider variation in color and leaf shape. These are the true ornamentals, and they are also true beauties.

Sweet potato vines started from edible sweet potatoes will also produce potatoes if there's enough room for them to expand (i.e., planted in the soil, not in containers), and if the growing season is long enough. I don't believe the hybridized ones will produce anything edible.
Jun 12, 2013, 07:15 PM
Oddly enough, on facebook today the Desert Botanical Gardens had a post on my plant. Garden Sprite is 100% correct.
here is what they said:
Looking for a plant that will bloom throughout the summer? Sacred Datura (Datura wrightii) is a perennial that produces stunning white flowers that open in the evening. The blossoms are fragrant permeating the desert air with a sweet perfume. Take precaution as all parts are poisonous if ingested. What is your favorite summer flowering plant?

I also learned it is native to the southwest deserts up to 6500 feet.

Mystery solved!
Jun 13, 2013, 01:11 PM
garden sprite...*****?v=vn7bkncf1_E
Jun 13, 2013, 10:01 PM
Awww, Frodo, that's so sweet! (Even if I'm not a man!) I needed something like that today.