Apr. 7, 2022
mile-a-minute vine, Ipomoea cairica
Mile-a-minute vine is species cairica because the specimen the first published description is from came from Cairo, Egypt. It's suspected that this species was originally native to east Africa and southwest Asia. But we can't be sure, and it's not because it grows a mile a minute. Ancient travel and commerce was much more frequent and extensive than we generally think. If people found something they valued, that item would very soon be traveling to other lands, and other stuff would be coming back. Mile-a-minute vine was eaten, and was considered to have healing properties, so it went on the road. The 'mile-a-minute name is because it grows quickly, with stems that can get thirty feet or more long. It traveled to the New World relatively early, and with us has now been found wild in AL, AR, CA, FL, HI, LA, MO, MS, and TX. Lake Co FL, 10/20/15. Bindweed family, Convolvulaceae.