While driving through the departamento of Sacatepequez area of the Maya Highlands of Guatemala, I kept seeing trees that had large white flowers. We were heading for the dry Baja Verapaz area of hills to undertake ecological and agricultural research for a development agency of a EU country so we needed to reach the Rabinal area, but I could not resist stopping to see what kind of tree was flowering along the road.
Turned out it was Ipomoea murucoides one of two species of morning glory flowers that are trees (so these are not morning glory vines that grow on a tree, they are a tree in and of themselves). I had read about these “Ipomoea species trees” but had never stood in front of one. So after we finished the first four days of our research in remote areas of the mountains of Guatemala, I returned to the Sacatepequez area and we drove on several different roads until we found more of these trees.
Local people were very helpful: they told us the trees were also found out in the hills (so not just along the road).
I was so happy to finally have found one of the “morning glory trees” that I of course decided that I also wanted to find the second species. This second species, Ipomoea arborescens, grows in the drier areas of Jutiapa, Zacapa, and Chiquimula, Guatemala. We will go there as soon as possible, keeping in mind we have three concurrent projects:
- Final months of 15-month flora, fauna, and wetlands ecosystems of Izabal
- 5-year project of coordination and cooperation with CONAP for the RBM area of Peten
- The new project with the EU development agency.