We grow pole beans annually, but this year, as I pull away the morning glory plants, I’m not sure I’m removing the right plant.
How do you distinguish the morning glory plant versus the pole bean plant?
I’d like to remove the morning glory plant.
Thanks for your inquiry. It can be very difficult to identify similar looking plants. I am assuming the vines have not bloomed and the fruit has not appeared. I would suggest you take a close look at the leaves and stems. I have prepared a chart comparing some of the common characteristics to see where the two plants differ. Morning Glory leaves are simple and Pole beans are pinnately compound. I have attached a link to the University of Colorado which describes both leaf types.
Leaflet Arrangement on Petiole
- Simple – Leaf blade is one continuous unit (cherry, maple, and elm)
- Compound – Several leaflets arise from the same petiole
- Pinnately compound – Leaflets arranged on both sides of a common rachis (leaf stalk), like a feather (mountain ash)
- Palmately compound – Leaflets radiate from one central point (Ohio buckeye and horse chestnut)
- Double pinnately compound – Double set of compound leaflets
Note: Sometimes identifying a “leaf” or “leaflet” can be confusing. Look at the petiole attachment. A leaf petiole attaches to the stem at a bud node. There is no bud node where leaflets attach to the petiole.
For further information on these plants please refer to:
Ipomoea purpurea (Morning Glory) https://gobotany.newenglandwild.org/species/ipomoea/purpurea/
Phaseolus vulgaris (Pole beans) https://gobotany.newenglandwild.org/species/phaseolus/vulgaris/
|Characteristic||Morning Glory||Pole beans|
|Leaf type||simple||Pinnately compound|
|Leaf blade edges||Entire ( has no teeth or lopes)||entire|
|Hairs on underside of leaf||is fuzzy or hairy||Is fuzzy or hairy|
|Hairs on upper side of leaf||Is fuzzy or hairy||Is fuzzy or hairy|
|Hooked Hairs on underside of leaf||No||yes|
|Hairs on Leaf stock||The petiole has hairs on it||No hairs on petiole|
|Leaf vein pattern||the major veins radiate out from one point at the base||the secondary veins branch off at intervals from the primary vein|
|Leaf tip||the tip of the leaf blade is acuminate (tapers to a long, thin point)the tip of the leaf blade is acute (sharply pointed)
|the tip of the leaf blade is acuminate (tapers to a long, thin point)|
|Leaf blade base shape||cordate (heart-shaped, has rounded lobes at the base)|
|Direction of stem hairs||Upwards to outwards||Not stated|
|Hair between stem nodes||Yes||Yes|