It is an annual or perennial herbaceous twining vine growing to 1-3 m tall. The leaves are 2-9 cm long, deeply lobed (nearly pinnate) with 9-19 lobes on each side of the leaf. The flowers are 3-4 cm long and 2 cm diameter, trumpet-shaped with five points, and can be red, pink or white; flowering is from early summer to late fall.
Seedlings must always be kept moist. They require full sun for good growth. This vine is one of the best plants for attracting hummingbirds, and is a vigorous grower. In warmer climates this plant can be extremely invasive.
The "cypress vine" is a hybrid variety with Ipomea quamoclit as one parent.