Bush morning glory (Ipomoea leptophylla) is one of the most striking wildflowers in the Red Rock Canyon area. It has intense purplish pink trumpet shaped flowers 2 to 3 inches long and blooms most of the summer.
The truly impressive feature of this plant, however, lies a foot underground. The taproot is shaped like a giant carrot or turnip and can grow up to 6 feet long. With this huge taproot and a root system which may extend out 25 feet, bush morning glory is extremely drought resistant. And, in fact, it prefers to grow in dry gravely areas.
Bush morning glory is a very long lived perennial which can live up to 50 years. It belongs to the same family as garden variety morning glory and the sweet potato. And, its giant taproot, like the sweet potato, is edible.
A small number of bush morning glories grow in and near Red Rock Canyon Open Space.