Ipomoea batatas is the botanical name of sweet potato vine. It is a herbaceous dicotyledonous plant that belongs to the family Convolvulaceae. It is a true sweet potato complete with tubers, but has bolder, more colorful foliage.
It is grown for its decorative foliage, vigorous growth habit and is drought tolerant. The large tuberous roots are edible but most have a poor flavor or even a bitter taste. These roots are long and tapered, with a smooth skin whose color ranges between red, purple, brown and white. Its flesh ranges from white through yellow, orange, and purple.
The leaves bear alternate heart-shaped or palmately lobed leaves and medium-sized sympetalous flowers. The young leaves and shoots are sometimes eaten as greens. Though it requires full sun, it will grow in partial shade.
Sweet potato vines are propagated by stem cuttings that develop roots in just four or five weeks. This vine also thrives in summer heat, and can easily be trimmed when it outgrows its boundary or strays too far from its container.