Convolvulaceae (Morning Glory Family)

Members of Convolvulaceaeare usually climbing or trailing plants, with alternate leaves along their stems. The flowers have 5 sepals, a lightly 5-lobed funnel shaped corolla, and 5 stamens attached to the corolla tube. In the bud stage, the flowers are twisted, and unravel as they open. There are 2 divisions in the pistil, each of which form a seed.

Members of this family have been cultivated for ornamentation, and are popular in gardens and lawns. Some non-native species or Morning Glory may be found around the urban fringe of Montara Mountain near Pacifica and Montara. The Sweet Potato is a member of Convolvulaceae, as is the Field Bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis), described by Kozloff & Beidleman in their Plants of the San Francisco Bay Region as "one of the most objectionable weeds ever introduced to North America." It can, unfortunately, be found on Montara Mountain.



The natives of this family on Montara Mountain are represented by Calystegia occidentalis, the Western or Coast Morning Glory.



Calystegia occidentalis:
Western (Chapparal) Morning Glory

Convolvulaceae (Morning Glory Family)

Flowers: White, funnel shaped, often tinged with purple as they age; funnel-shaped. Sometimes yellowish towards center.

Blooms: April - July.

Leaves: Arrow shaped along vine stem, with distinct 2-pointed basal lobes.

Fruit/Seeds: ??

Location: Lower elevations, along most trails - along bluffs, across ridge plains and down to beaches.

Status: Native - Common.

Further description & Comment: Mounding, sprawling vine.

Calystegia occidentalis
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Notice the arrow-shaped leaves and the coiled, immature flowers. This plant lives in the ridgetop prairie along the southwest flank of the mountain overlooking Montara State Beach.

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Note: The similar alien Field Bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis) has very pronounced sharp single-pointed lobes in the back part of its leaves, the leaf is rounder, and the flowers are smaller.


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