Morning glory is the common name for over 1,000 species of flowering plants in the family Convolvulaceae.
It is widespread in both tropical and temperate areas.
Morning Glories prefer a full sun throughout the day.
In cultivation, most are treated as perennial plants in frost-free areas and as annual plants in colder climates, but some species tolerate winter cold.
Morning glory can be recognized by their funnel-shaped, radially symmetrical corolla; it has five sepals, five fused petals, five epipetalous stamens (stamens fused to the petals) and a two-part syncarpous and superior gynoecium.
Morning glory flowers can be found in blue, purple, red, white and yellow and variations of these colors. It can be as much as 20 cm (8 in) across although most are around 10 cm (4 in).
The leaves of plants belonging to the family are alternate and simple or compound.
The stems often contain latex and are rarely tuberous. The roots are usually fibrous but sometimes form rootstalks or tubers.
Most morning glory flowers unravel into full bloom in the early morning. The flowers usually start to fade a few hours before the “petals” start showing visible curling. Hoewer, some morning glories, such as Ipomoea muricata, are night-blooming flowers.
Because of their fast growth, twining habit, attractive flowers, and tolerance for poor, dry soils, some morning glories are excellent vines for creating summer shade on building walls when trellised, thus keeping the building cooler and reducing heating and cooling costs.
Ipomoea aquatica, known as water spinach, water morning glory, water convolvulus, ong-choy, kang-kung, or swamp cabbage, is popularly used as a green vegetable, especially in East and Southeast Asian cuisines.
Ipomoea batatas known as Sweet potato, food plant of the morning glory family (Convolvulaceae).
The seeds of two species, Turbina corymbosa and Ipomoea violacea, are sources of hallucinogenic drugs of historical interest and contemporary concern. It can produce a similar effect to LSD when taken in large doses, often numbering into the hundreds.
In the USA Ipomoea aquatica is a federal noxious weed, and can be illegal to grow, import, possess, or sell without a permit. However, a market exists for the plant’s powerful culinary potential.
Morning glory was first known in China for its medicinal uses, due to the laxative properties of its seeds.
It was introduced to the Japanese in the 9th century, and they were the first to cultivate it as an ornamental flower.
In the Victorian meaning of flowers, morning glory flowers signify love, affection or mortality.
In Chinese folklore, they represent a single day for lovers to meet.
They also represent the month of September and 11th wedding anniversaries.