For the identification of insects and other fauna and flora of South Africa: please click on the following links:
Insects and related species: Antlions - Ants - Bees - Beetles - Bugs - Butterflies, Moths and Caterpillars - Centipedes and Millipedes - Cockroaches - Crickets - Dragonflies and Damselflies - Grasshoppers and Katydids - Mantis - Stick Insects - Ticks and Mites - Wasps - Woodlice
Plants, Trees, Flowers: (Note: Unless plants fall into a specific species such as Cacti, they have been classified by their flower colour to make them easier to find) Bonsai - Cacti, Succulents, Aloes, Euplorbia - Ferns and Cycads - Flowers - Fungi, Lichen and Moss - Grass - Trees
Animals, Birds, Reptiles etc.: Animals, Birds, Fish and Crabs - Frogs - Lizards - Scorpions - Snails and Slugs - Snakes - Spiders - Tortoise, Turtles and Terrapins - Whipscorpions
Other photography: Aeroplanes - Cars and Bikes - Travel - Sunrise - Water drops/falls - Sudwala and Sterkfontein Caves etc.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Moonflower (Ipomoea alba)

Family Convolvulaceae
This a creeper which is not indigenous to South Africa and comes from South America.
It has the largest flowers (8-14cm diameter), being almost four times the size of other Morning Glories.
The name comes from the fact that it only opens at night and closes with the first rays of sunlight.
The ancient Mesoamerican civilizations used the Ipomoea alba morning glory to convert the latex from the Castilla elastica tree and the guayule plant to produce bouncing rubber balls.
The sulfur in this morning glory served to vulcanize the rubber, a process predating Charles Goodyear's discovery by at least 3,000 years.