CPC National Collection Plant Profile

Bonamia grandiflora

c. 1991 Steve Shirah

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CPC National Collection Plant Profile

Bonamia grandiflora

Common Names: 
Florida bonamia, Florida lady's night cap, large-flowered bonamia, scrub morning-glory
(Gray) Hallier f.
Growth Habit: 
Vine, Forb/herb
CPC Number: 


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Bonamia grandifloraenlarge
Photographer: c. 1991 Steve Shirah

Bonamia grandiflora is Fully Sponsored
Primary custodian for this plant in the CPC National Collection of Endangered Plants is: 
S.K. Maddox contributed to this Plant Profile.

Bonamia grandiflora

Bonamia grandiflora, the perennial scrub morning-glory, or Florida lady's nightcap as it is sometimes called, is the only species of its genus in the continental United States. If lucky, one will find this sprawling herb blooming from April through August with large, attractive deep blue or bluish-purple flowers, typically blooming in the morning and wilting by early afternoon. These funnel-shaped corollas with white throats are 7 to 10 cm long and 7 to 8 cm across. Solitary flowers are produced on long prostrate stems that can reach up to 3 meters long and extend outward flat over the sand. This vine does not twine or climb like a number of introduced species of morning-glory. Bonamia grandiflora is characterized by ovate gray-green leathery leaves that can be up to 4 cm in length. The fruits are capsules that normally contain four smoothish, pale brown or greenish-brown oblong seeds that are 5 to 8 mm long. It has a long, relatively thin tap root, and has been found to produce several below-ground stems when grown in cultivation.

Distribution & Occurrence

State Range
State Range of  Bonamia grandiflora
  Bonamia grandiflora is a scrub endemic of central Florida. It is most often found growing within or near scrub or on the edge of white sand scrub habitat. Scrub habitats are a type of xeric uplands associated with the old dunes of the Pleistocene age. The sands are very deep, acidic, well drained, and contain very few nutrients. Fire is rare or occasional (20-80 years), and scrub is considered temperate or subtropical. Visitors to a scrub habitat will find sand pine, evergreen scrub oaks, rosemary, lichens, and other herbs. B. grandiflora requires an open canopy in full sunlight to grow and flower. As the oaks and pines mature, they begin to shade out the scrub morning-glory and it goes into decline. It will sometimes invade disturbed areas of open sand near clearings and roadways. (FNAI 2001)

  Bonamia grandiflora is restricted to xeric, white sand scrub (or its edge) in the center of the Florida peninsular in the following counties: Hardee, Highlands, Lake, Marion, Manatee, Charlotte, Orange, and Polk. The plant was collected many years earlier in Manatee (1916), Osceloa (1938), Sarasota (1878), and Volusia (1900), (NatureServe 2001). Bonamia grandiflora is protected on sites in Manatee, Orange, Lake, Polk, and Highlands, and in Ocala NF (USFWS 1999)

Number Left
  Only about 100 populations remain. About 35 are protected on 15 managed areas. Bonamia grandiflora is most abundant in the Ocala National Forest (Chafin 2000).


Global Rank:  
Guide to Global Ranks
Federal Status:  
Guide to Federal Status
Recovery Plan:  

State/Area Protection
  State/Area Rank Status Date  
  Florida S3 LE 4/1/1998  

Conservation, Ecology & Research

Ecological Relationships
  In addition to the sand pines, sand live and myrtle oaks, shrubs, lichens, and herbs growing in the white sand scrub, scrub morning-glory is found in association with other federally listed species. In Highlands and Polk counties the Highlands scrub hypericum (Paronychia chartacea) and the scrub plum (Prunus geniculata) have been found. In Orange County the scrub lupine (Lupinus aridorum) has been seen growing along with the scrub morning-glory (USFWS 1999)

  Urbanization is the largest threat, with developments for homes and citrus taking over scrub habitat.
Long-term exclusion of fire, which allows the oaks and pines to shade out the open sandy areas needed.
Roadside exotics and the control of these plants by mowing, herbicide spraying, and soil disturbance.
(USFWS 1999)

Current Research Summary
  Ex situ research at Bok Tower Gardens (Pers. Comm., Brazis 2001).
Field monitoring and management by the Nature Conservancy, Lake Wales Ridge Office (Pers. Comm., Morrison 2001).

Current Management Summary
  Conservation practices in the Ocala National Forest, including limited off-road vehicle use. Mechanical clearing or occasional burning is prescribed to renew the sunny openings which Florida bonamia inhabits (USFWS 1999).
The FWS works with State, local, and private agencies to conserve scrub habitat, stressing purchasing large high-quality tracts (USFWS 1999).
Historic Bok Sanctuary (formerly Bok Tower Gardens) propagates and maintains an ex situ collection of scrub morning-glory, and manages the Pine Ridge Preserve, home to several endemic plants.
Intense scrub land acquisition on the Lake Wales Ridge (USFWS 1999).
Efforts by USFWS, Lake George District, to develop management recommendations that provide for open, sunny habitat and prevention of cogan grass (Imperata spp) invasion. (USFWS 1999).

Research Management Needs
  Conduct surveys for additional populations.
Maintain distribution of known populations and suitable habitat in GIS database.
Protect and enhance existing populations.
Conduct research on life history characteristics of Bonamia grandiflora.
Monitor existing populations of B. grandiflora.
Provide public information about B. grandiflora.
(USFWS 1999)

Ex Situ Needs
  Conserve germ plasm. The seed for this species is not presently in long term storage.
Maintain the ex situ collection. Bok Tower Gardens works with the CPC as a participating institution.
(USFWS 1999)


Books (Single Authors)

Clewell, A.F. 1985. Guide to Vascular Plants of the Florida Panhandle. Tallahassee, Florida: Florida State University Press. 605p.

Coile, N.C. 2000. Notes on Florida's Regulated Plant Index (Rule 5B-40), Botany Contribution 38. Gainesville, Florida: Florida Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Plant Industry.

FNAI. 2000. Field Guide to the Rare Plants and Animals of Florida online. Florida Natural Areas Inventory.

Hall, David W. 1993. Illustrated plants of Florida and the coastal plain. Gainesville, FL: Maupin House. 431p.

Prance, G.T. 1977. Extinction is forever. New York: New York Botanical Garden.

Small, J.K. 1933. Manual of the southeastern flora. New York, NY: Hafner Publishing Company. 1505p.

Taylor, W.K. 1992. The Guide to Florida Wildflowers. Dallas, Texas: Taylor Publishing Company. 320p.

Ward, D.B. 1979. Rare and Endangered Biota of Florida Volume 5: Plants. Gainseville, FL: University Presses of Florida.

Books (Sections)

Kartesz, J.T. 1999. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the U.S., Canada, and Greenland. In: Kartesz, J.T.; Meacham, C.A., editors. Synthesis of the North American Flora, Version 1.0. North Carolina Botanical Garden. Chapel Hill, NC.

Pace-Aldana, B.; Gordon, D.R.; Slapcinsky, J. 2000. Monitoring of Florida bonamia (Bonamia grandiflora) on the Lake Wales Ridge. In: Gordon, D.R.; Slapcinsky, J.L., editors. Annual Research Report: A Compilation of Research Conducted or Supported by The Nature Conservancy in Florida. Florida Science and Stewardship Programs and The Nature Conservancy.

Electronic Sources

(2001). Floridata - Encyclopedia of Plants and Nature. [Searchable Web site] Floridata.com LC. http://www.floridata.com/tracks/scrub/endangered/menu_end.htm. Accessed: 2002.

(2002). Atlas of Florida Vascular Plants. [Web site] University of South Florida Institute for Systematic Botany. http://www.plantatlas.usf.edu/isb/default.htm. Accessed: 2008.

Denton, S. (2001). Photo Library of Native and Naturalized Plants of Florida. Biological Research Associates. http://www.biolresearch.com/Plants/index.php?id=C. Accessed: 2002.

ESIS. (1998). Endangered Species System (ESIS): Fish and Wildlife Exchange. [Web site;] Virginia Tech. http://fwie.fw.vt.edu/WWW/esis/. Accessed: 2002.

NatureServe. (2008). NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life [web application]. [Internet].Version 7.0. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia. http://www.natureserve.org/explorer. Accessed: (June 17, 2008).

USGS. (2002). Status of Listed Species and Recovery Plan Development. [Web site] USGS: Norther Prairie Wildlife Research Center. http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/distr/others/recoprog/plant.htm. Accessed: 2002.

Journal Articles

Abrahamson, W.G. 1984. Post-fire Recovery of Florida Lake Wales Ridge Vegetation. American Journal of Botany. 71, 1: 9-21.

Abrahamson, W.G. 1984. Species response to fire on the Florida Lake Wales Ridge. American Journal of Botany. 71, 1: 35-43.

Campbell, F.T. 1996. The Invasion of the Exotics. Endangered Species Bulletin. 21: 12-13.

Duever, L.C. 1983. Natural communities of Florida's inland sand ridges. Palmetto. 3, 3: 1-3.

Hartnett, D.C.; Richardson, D.R. 1987. Reproduction, Population Dynamics, and Responses to Fire in the Perennial Herb Bonamia grandiflora (Convolvulaceae). American Journal of Botany. 74, 5: 662-662.

Hartnett, D.C.; Richardson, D.R. 1989. Population Biology of Bonamia grandiflora (Convulvulaceae) - Effects of Fire on Plant and Seed Bank Dynamics. American Journal of Botany. 76, 3: 361-369.

Johnson, A.F. 1982. Some demographic characteristics of the Florida rosemary, Ceratiola ericoides. American Midland Naturalist. 108, 1: 170-174.

McMahan, L.R. 1988. CPC 1987--A Successful Collecting Year. The Center for Plant Conservation. 3, 2: Cover.

Menelaou, M.A. Structural and Biosynthetic Studies of Natural Products of the Asteraceae and Lamiaceae. Dissertation Abstracts International. 52-03, Section: B: 1441.

Menges, E.S.; Gordon, D.R. 1996. Three levels of monitoring intensity for rare plant species. Natural Areas Journal. 16, 3: 227-237.

Myint, T.; Ward, D.B. 1968. A taxonomic revision of the genus Bonamia (Convolvulaceae). Phytologia. 17, 3: 121-239.

Romano, G.B. Reproductive biology and population molecular genetics of the scrub morning glory Bonamia grandiflora. Dissertation Abstracts International. 60-09, Section: B: 4352.

USFWS. 1986. Proposed Threatened Status for Bonamia grandiflora (Florida Bonamia). Federal Register. 51, 213: 40044-40047.

USFWS. 1987. Final Listing Rules Approved for 10 Species. Endangered Species Technical Bulletin. 12, 11-12: 8.

Wallace, S.R.; McMahan, L.R. 1988. A Place in the Sun for the Plants. Garden. 12, 1: 20-23.

Personal Communications

Brazis, D. 2001. Personal communication in 8/2001. Bok Tower Gardens, Lake Wales, Florida.

Morrison, S. 2001. Personal communication. 8/2001. The Nature Conservancy, Lake Wales Ridge Office, Lake Wales, Florida.


1987. The Endangered Dwarf Bearclaw Poppy. Salt Lake City, UT: Utah Native Plant Society. p.2.

Gordon, D. 1992. Element stewardship abstract report for Florida scrub community. Arlington, Virginia: The Nature Conservancy in association with the Network of Natural Heritage Programs and Conservation Data Centers. Unpublished.

Klaudisova, A. 1991. Monitoring of Polygala lewtonii, Nolina brittoniana, Prunus geniculata, Crotalaria avonensis, and Bonamia grandiflora in the Lake Wales Ridge area, Polk County, Florida. The Nature Conservancy.

Kral, R. 1983. A report on some rare, threatened, or endangered forest-related vascular plants of the South. Athens, GA: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture Forest Service. p.1305. U.S. Dept. of Agriculture Forest Service Technical.

USFWS. 1989. Recovery plan for eleven Florida scrub plants. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. p.64.

USFWS. 1996. Recovery Plan for Nineteen Central Florida Scrub and High Pineland Plants (revised). Atlanta, GA: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. p.134.

USFWS. 1999. South Florida Multi-species Recovery Plan. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Southeast Region.

Weekley, Carl. 1996. Bonamia grandiflora Monitoring Report #1. Tallahassee, Florida: Florida Division of Forestry: Statewide Endangered and Threatened Plant Conservation Program.

Weekley, Carl. 1998. Bonamia grandiflora Monitoring Report #2. Tallahassee, Florida: Florida Division of Forestry: Statewide Endangered and Threatened Plant Conservation Program.

  This profile was updated on 3/4/2010
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