Morning Glory

morning glory - Ipomoea purpurea photoMorning glory is one of several climbing plants of the following species, all belonging to the Convolvulaceae.

* Calystegia stebbinsii (Stebbins' morning glory)
* Convolvulus althaeoides
* Ipomoea arborescens (tree morning glory)
* Ipomoea purpurea (common morning glory or field bindweed)
* Ipomoea violacea (tlitliltzin) Naturally occurring in the United States
* Merremia aurea (yellow morning glory)
* Rivea corymbosa (ololiuhqui)

The seeds of many species of morning glory contain ergoline alkaloids. Seeds of I. violacea and R. corymbosa are used as hallucinogenic drugs. Morning glory seeds are about 5% to 10% as potent as LSD. To discourage morning glory's use as hallucinogenic drugs, some commercial seed producers have started treating seeds with a chemical that will not wash off. This chemical has been known to cause vomitting, nausea and abdominal pain.

Morning glory is also called asagao (in Japanese, a compound of ? asa "morning" and ? kao "face"). It 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. During the Edo Period, it became a very popular ornamental flower. Aztec priests in Mexico were also known to use the plant's hallucinogenic properties to commune with their gods (see Rivea corymbosa). In recent years, it has also become imporant in North American gardens. It is treated as a perennial in many tropical areas or an annual in colder climates.

Morning glory vines feature saucer-shaped flowers that open mainly in the morning hours. The vines perform best when subjected to morning light, partial to full sun throughout the day, and mesic soils.


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