Vigorous climbing morning glories (Ipomoea) with wonderful summer flowers have been around for a very long time. Recently we’ve seen neat trailing varieties with purple or chartreuse or variegated leaves. Now there's the first climbing morning glory with purple foliage and two-tone purplish pink flowers.
Ipomoea Sunpuma Purple (‘SunTun1’) reaches 1-1.2m in height, producing a mass of purple stems that twine gently; they may need some guidance and tying in, especially at first.
The heart-shaped leaves tend to open narrower, and in green rather than purple. However, they soon mature into 9-15cm long hearts; each leaf with a noticeably pointed tip. The veins and margins are the richest colour, with the purple colouring tinted green between the veins.
The 3-4cm flowers come in appealingly harmonising colours – deep purple-pink throats shading to almost white at the edges. They begin blooming in July and continue right through the summer. Be sure the plants never dry out and feed with patio plant food or tomato fertiliser when you feed your other patio plants.
This is a plant to grow as a specimen in a fairly large (say 40cm) container, perhaps with petunias in harmonising shades around the base. It can also be grown on a sunny fence. If planted in a hanging basket, the basket will need hoisting high as the growth will trail vigorously.
Developed by prolific patio plant breeders Suntory, in Japan, it is sometimes offered as Sunpuma Purple Princess. Plants may also be seen listed as a form of Ipomoea purpurea or Convolvulus purpureus but they are, in fact, a variety of Ipomoea batatas, the sweet potato. Sadly, there will be no edible tubers.
You can order plants of Ipomoea Sunpuma Purple (‘SunTun1’) from Thompson & Morgan.
Please note, the contents of this blog reflect the views of its author and do not constitute an official endorsement by the RHS.