Copyright 2000-2015 by Thomas Zinneman.  All rights reserved. Railroad Vine Ipomoea pes-caprae

The Railroad Vine, also known as Bayhops, likes beach dunes and coastal grasslands.  They are found on beaches and dunes from Georgia south along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts to Texas and Mexico.  The vine can travel more than 100 feet along the ground, but never gets more than a few inches high.  Because it roots at nodes all along its length, these vines, along with sea oats, help to stabilize sand dunes.

Each vine produces many large pink, purple, or violet flowers.  These flowers are composed of five fused petals.  Each flower only blooms once, opening early in the morning and folding and fading in late afternoon. They bloom all year, peaking from May through November.  The leaves are oblong or kidney shaped.  The term pes-caprae means goat’s foot, a reference to the shape of the leaves.

The image on the top of this page and the lower left image were taken on Palm Island in western Charlotte County in October, 2011.  The image in the middle was taken at the Port Charlotte Beach in Charlotte County in September, 2009.  The lower right image was taken at the Cedar Point Environmental Center in western Charlotte County in September, 2002.

The distribution maps for the Railroad Vine are from the Plants Database of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).