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Morning glory

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Morning glory
Scientific Classification

Morning glory is any of the 200 species of flowering plants belonging to the taxonomic genus Ipomoea. More generally, the name may refer to any plant in the family Convolvulaceae, which contains the following genera: Calystegia, Convolvulus, Ipomoea, Merremia, and Rivea.

Ipomoea, which is an annual vine, is known by many as a weed because of its ability to reseed itself. This genus contains the fastest growing members of the Morning Glory family. They get the name Morning Glory because every morning they open up, and then every night they close up. This, along with their bright colors, make them a common vine in many yards. They can also grow to lengths of over 10 feet.



This is a picture of a Ipomoea pes-caprae leaf
Ipomoea is an annual vine which blooms in early summer to the middle of fall. It can grow to lengths of up to 10 feet within two months [1]. This plant needs support for the vines and can usually be found growing on fences. The vines wrap around objects using them for support as it grows upward. They can also be found in hanging baskets. [2] There are flowers that grow from the vines. These flowers all contain funnel-shaped blossoms that are blue, purple, pink, scarlet, and white. They can also be multicolored creating a pattern. The flowers of these morning glories vary but the leaves are always a dark green. Their leaves are heart-shaped and are 4-5 inches in length. They also produce seed pods that hang from the vines. As the seeds mature, the pods start to turn light brown. When the seeds are fully mature, they turn dark brown and are 1/8 to 1/4 inches in size. Ipomoea flowers can grow to be 8 inches across but are usually about 4 inches in length.



This is a picture of a closed Ipomoea Violacae also called beach moonflower
This is a picture of a open Ipomoea Violacae also called beach moonflower

Ipomoeas are annuals that grow in early summer to mid fall. They usually die after the first bad frost. Most morning glories have a unique ability to open in the daytime and close in the night time. As the temperature rises it increases the water supply to the flower causing it to open. The purpose of this is when they open they allow insects to pollinate the flower. When they close they stop pollination. They also have the ability to change colors to attract insects at different times in the day. For example the flower may be dark in the morning and lighter in the evening. These changes draw insects in so that the plant can be pollinated. The cause of this change is from the sun on the chemicals in the plant, which makes the colors fade. At the end of a day the parts of the flower that can be used by the plant are kept, while the external part of the flower that can not be used is shed. The plant will keep the pollinated ovary and use it to produce seeds. These seeds are what makes the Ipomoeas grow. [4]


This picture shows where Ipomoea plants grow in the United States and Canada

Ipomoea can be found in tropical and subtropical regions, such as parts of America and Asia. They grow best when they have sun all day long. These flowers can survive in a lot of different environments. They do not do well in moist or fertilized soil because it will prevent the production of leaves instead of flowers. Once Ipomoea flowers have been planted they will always grow in that area. [5] There are 29 species of Ipomoea in China. [6]

Ipomoea is considered a weed because it reseeds every year. Out of all the Morning Glories Ipomoea grows the fastest. The flowers attract hummingbirds and butterflies. Seeds should always be planted after the last frost. They should be planted in an area where they have room to take over. Seeds should be sown 1/2 inch in the ground and 8 inches apart. They can also be grown in indoor pots 4 to 6 weeks before the last frost. Ipomoea do not survive being transplanted. Before sowing, the seeds should either be slightly nicked with a knife or soaked overnight in room temperature water to soften them. [7]


Ipomoea has many uses beyond garden flowers. Most are either edible or can be used as a treatment for an illness. It was first used by the Native American Indians as a torch. They would start a fire and then light a root on fire and the root would burn for days. [8]
Edible: Certain species of Ipomoea are edible. For example Ipomoea leptophylla roots can be eaten raw or cooked. Roots should be eaten when they are around 2 year old but are good up to 3 years. The roots are harvested in the autumn and then dried.[9] The leaves of some flowers are also edible. [10] Although some specific Ipomoea are edible, some parts like the seeds and certain plants are poisonous and should not be eaten. If eaten some will cause hallucinations, nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, and muscle tightness. [11]
Medical Uses: Some roots are scraped and eaten raw as a cure for stomach aches.[12] The tuber (modified stems) is an herb which is taken to treat intestinal parasites. [13]

See Also



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