Economic Botany

, Volume 67, Issue 3, pp 244–262 | Cite as

Moon–Flower (Ipomoea alba, Convolvulaceae)—Medicine, Rubber Enabler, and Ornamental: A Review

Review

Moon–Flower (Ipomoea alba, Convolvulaceae)—Medicine, Rubber Enabler, and Ornamental: A Review. Native to the Americas, moon–flower (Ipomoea alba) was first recorded by Europeans with its Taino common name in the 1520s. Subsequently, the species was reported from India with a Malayalam name in the 1660s. In the time between, the climbers had been transported around the world. A dominant reason for the spread was because of the medicinal uses the Europeans had learned in the Americas. Although the Spanish report of I. alba being used in making rubber in the Americas was published in the 1520s, no one realized it was that species until the 1800s. In part because of the early spread from its region of nativity into the Old World, scientists in Europe were confused about the origin of the species. As moon–flower was overshadowed by other medicinal species in the 1800s, people began to utilize the climbers for horticultural purposes.

Keywords

Historical records taxonomic confusion weed medicine rubber ornamental moth flowers 

Flor de la luna (Ipomoea alba, Convolvulaceae) – medicina, habilitador de hule, y ornamental: Una revisión. En 1520 los europeos primeramente registraron a Flor de Luna de acuerdo con su nombre común Taíno. Posteriormente, en 1660, la especie fue reportada en la India con el nombre Malayalam. Durante este tiempo, la trepadora había sido transportada alrededor del mundo. La principal razón de su transportación fueron sus usos medicinales, que los Europeos habían aprendido en las Américas. A pesar de que los Españoles reportaban en 1520, que I. alba era usada para hacer hule, nadie realizo que era esa especie, sino hasta 1800. Debido a su temprana dispersión, desde su región original hacia el Viejo Mundo, los científicos de Europa estaban confundidos sobre el origen de esta especie. Cuando Flor de Luna fue superada por otras especies medicinales en 1800, la gente la empezó a usarla para fines horticulturales.

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© The New York Botanical Garden 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Arizona–Sonora Desert MuseumTucsonUSA

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