Locations of Argyreia Nervosa

Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Threat only at high elevations?  no

Other Latin names: A. speciosa (L. f.) Sweet

Common name(s):

English: elephant creeper, Hawaiian baby woodrose, silver morning glory, woolly morning glory

French: coup d’air, liane a minguet, liane d’argentne a minguet, liane d’argent

Habit: vine

Description: “Climbing vine to several meters long; herbage velvety pubescent, densely so when young; leaf blades 15-25 (30) cm long, 13-20 (30) cm wide, cordate, acuminate-attenuate apically, cordate basally; flowers in cymes, on long, white-tomentose peduncles; sepals 13-15 mm long, velvety like the herbage; pedicels to 15 cm long; flowers 5-7.5 cm long, the corolla with a short tube and campanulate limb, lavender to pink, the throat darker.” (Welsh, 1998)

A native of eastern India and Bangladesh, this vigorous twiner will grow 30 ft (9 m) or more into the treetops, but can be trained over a post or stump and kept trimmed to a mound-like form. A dense white down covers both young stems and leaf undersides. The leaves are ovate-cordate, to 1 foot across, white beneath with lateral veins conspicuous on the undersides. Tight clusters of trumpet-shaped bright pink flowers about 2 in (5 cm) across on pedicels to 6 inches long appear among the foliage in spring and summer.

Habitat/ecology: Climbing vine. It is reportedly valuable for medicinal properties in India. Ayurveda states that it is vata and kapha suppressant. It helps in healing of wounds and increases blood circulation to the effective part. It strengthens the nervous system and promotes memory. It is anti inflammatory in action and is cardiac supporter. It helps in digestion. It is also helpful in throat related problems. It increases sperms count and decreases the inflammation in the uterus. It is also helpful in resolving urine related problems and is also effective in diabetes. It also strengthens the body.

In a tropical climate cultivation is simple, the plants making very vigorous growth in a sunny position in moist soil. In cooler climates they can be grown in a sunny conservatory, but due to their rampant growth will need frequent cutting back.

Propagation: Berries dispersed by birds.

Native range: Burma and India.


Pacific Islands:




French PolynesiaRaiateaWelsh, 1998
French PolynesiaTahitiWelsh, 1998
HawaiiKauaiWagner et al., 1999
HawaiiMauiWagner et al., 1999
Tonga‘EuaYuncker, 1959

Pacific rim: Australia.

Comments: Invasive in northern Queensland.


  1. Wagner, W.L., D.R. Herbst and S.H. Sohmer. 1999. Manual of the flowering plants of Hawai’i. Revised edition. University of Hawai’i Press, Honolulu. p. 549.
  2. Welsh, S. L. 1998. Flora Societensis: A summary revision of the flowering plants of the Society Islands. E.P.S. Inc., Orem, Utah. p. 137.
  3. Yuncker, T.G. 1959. Plants of Tonga. B. P. Bishop Museum Bull. 220:228