Morning glory, also known as, among other names, water spinach, is popularly used as a green vegetable especially in East and Southeast Asian cuisines. 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 first to cultivate it as an ornament. A rare brownish-colored variant known as Danjuro is very popular. During the Edo Period, it became a very popular ornamental flower. Ancient Mesoamerican civilizations used the morning glory species Ipomoea alba to convert the latex from the Castilla elastica tree. The sulfur in the morning glory's juice served to vulcanize the rubber, a process pre-dating Charles Goodyear's discovery by at least 3000 years. Aztec priests in Mexico were also known to use the plant's hallucinogenic properties.
Morning glory is a beautiful flower that blooms in the morning and fades away by midday. It is a plant species belonging to the family Convolvulaceae. Morning glory plants are popular garden plants and are grown in many gardens for their beautiful flowers. They come in a wide range of colors including blue, purple, red, pink, and white. The flowers are trumpet-shaped and have five petals.
The scientific name of morning glory is Ipomoea. There are over 1,000 species of Ipomoea, many of which are cultivated as ornamental plants. The name Ipomoea is derived from the Greek words "ips" meaning worm, and "homoios" meaning resembling. This is because some species of Ipomoea have long, twisting stems that resemble worms.
Morning glory plants are easy to grow and require little maintenance. They thrive in warm climates and prefer well-drained soil. Morning glory seeds should be sown in the spring or early summer. They can be sown directly in the garden or in containers. The plants need to be watered regularly and should be fertilized every few weeks during the growing season.
Morning glory plants are climbers and can grow up to 8 feet tall. They are often grown on trellises, fences, or walls. In addition to their beautiful flowers, morning glory plants are known for their fast-growing nature and their ability to cover large areas quickly.
Morning glory flowers are often used in traditional medicine. The leaves and seeds of the plant contain alkaloids, which have psychoactive properties. Some native tribes in central Mexico have used morning glory seeds as a hallucinogen for centuries. The plant has also been used to treat various illnesses including constipation, headaches, and coughs.
Morning glory plants are also popular among pollinators. Bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds are attracted to the nectar-rich flowers. The flowers are also self-pollinating.
Morning glory plants have been associated with many cultures and traditions throughout history. In Hinduism, morning glory is associated with Lord Hanuman, the monkey god. In Japan, the morning glory is a symbol of summer and is often depicted in art and poetry. In Native American culture, the morning glory symbolizes love, affection, and commitment.
Despite its beauty, morning glory is considered an invasive species in many parts of the world. Its fast-growing nature and ability to spread through self-seeding make it a potential threat to native plant species. In some countries, such as Australia and New Zealand, it is illegal to cultivate morning glory plants.