Topo (Ipomoea pes-caprae - Convolvulaceae)

Description: Topo is a common, low-lying morning-glory vine with long stems and attractive pink to purplish tubular flowers. It is found along the shores of many tropical islands where it forms mats on the ground in the strand vegetation on sandy or rocky shorelines.

Distribution: This beach morning-glory vine is found more widely and in greater numbers than probably any other tropical Pacific beach plant. However, it may be an alien species only recently introduced to the Marshall Islands, since it is difficult to find people who know its name. The Marshallese-English Dictionary refers to this species as topo and also as markinenjojo. It has been reported from atolls in the Marshall Islands: Ānewetak, Jālooj, Lae, Likiep, Kuwajleen, Mājro, and others.

Uses: The stems of this spreading vine are sometimes used for children's jump ropes, from which use derives the quasi-name, kutiñ. It is also used for medicine in the Marshall Islands.

Main Plants


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