The morning glory (scientifically known as ipomoea) is a genus with over 1000 species of climbing flowering plants with large, showy trumpet-shaped flowers and heart-shaped leaves. The fragrant flowers come in a rainbow of colours, including blue, red, pink, purple and white. These beauties will often attract butterflies and hummingbirds when they bloom from early summer to the first frost.
Gardeners love them because they are easy to grow, fast growing, and will thrive in poor, dry soils. They can be cultivated as perennials in frost-free areas or annuals in colder climates. Some species can even tolerate the winter cold.
The twining vines can reach up to 15 ft within a growing season! They are perfect for growing along fences, arches, and trellises! In addition, morning glories are known for creating shade on walls, cooling buildings, and reducing cooling costs. Most morning glories are climbers, but some varieties can be used as a dense groundcover. They perform best when exposed to full sun. Plant in fertile, well-drained soil.
The plants are named so because the flowers usually bloom in the early morning and close up in the afternoon. However, there are some varieties, such as the ipomoea muricata, that bloom at night.
“Heavenly Blue,” a blue-hued flower with a white center, is the most common variety.
Fun Flower Facts about the Morning Glory:
- The name ipomoea comes from the Greek words ips for “worm” and homoios for “like” because of the plant’s worm-like stem.
- In China, the seeds were once used in traditional herbal medicine as a laxative.
- The seeds are toxic if ingested. The seeds in many morning glory species contain psychedelic properties, producing similar effect as LSD when taken in large doses.
- Ipomoea aquatica, also known as water morning glory or water spinach is eaten as a vegetable in many parts of Asia.
- Due to its short life span, the morning glory symbolizes unrequited love and affection in the language of flowers.