- History and Culture
Ipomoea pes-caprae is a very common coastal liana forming a branching network that covers large areas on beaches. Its purple stems measure between 25 and 30 meters and take root at the nodes. The thick and large leaves fold down the midrib. They are leathery green on their surface and are of a lighter green colour on their underside. The creeper produces characteristic pink trumpet shaped flowers and saltwater resistant seeds. When it spreads in favourable conditions, it completely covers the soil.
 Atkinson, Rachel, and Jean-Claude Sevathian. 2005. A guide to the plants in Mauritius. Vacoas: Mauritian Wildlife Foundation.
Ipomoea pes-caprae grows on sandy beaches from inland dunes down to the high-water mark. Widely spread across the tropics due to the oceanic dispersal of its seeds, it can be seen on the shores of the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. It is a sand stabilizer and binder, providing hiding places for a large number of crustaceans and insects.
Due to its wide range and population, the species is currently classified as ‘Least Concern’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. However, the species may have suffered decline in local areas, either due to the presence of invasive species such as Casuarina or due to coastal developments and infrastructural works.
Ipomoea pes-caprae is commonly used for numerous medicinal purposes ranging from the treatment of stingray and stonefish stings to inflammation, rheumatism, bed sores, gastrointestinal disorders, ulcers and much more. The leaves and the roots are edible but act as a laxative when eaten in large quantities. The stems can be used as ropes and the crushed leaves can be used for caulking the seams of canoes.
 Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2018-08-18. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Ipomoea+pes-caprae>