Ipomoea purpurea: Common morning glory

Family: Asteraceae
Common name: Common morning-glory, Tall morning-glory, Purple morning glory

It is indeed a shame that a plant bearing such beautiful flowers is considered to be an invasive weed, but it is! Common morning glory plants can grow to a height of 2-3 meters climbing on garden structures, nearby trees or other bushes and shrubs. Their stems are green and woody at the base, but tender and twining towards the tip.

Leaves are green and heart-shaped, with long hairy petioles connecting them to the stem. Flowers are the distinguishing feature of Common morning glory plants; beautiful blue or purple trumpet-shaped flowers that bloom around 9 or 10 am with the sun, and wilt by noon.

The flowers are about 5 cms in diameter with a white throat, and purple fused petals with maroon-ish lines radiating from the center towards the tip. Though they are considered to be weeds in agricultural lands, since they can grow quickly and smother surrounding vegetation, they can easily be grown in garden trailing on trellises, arches or walls.

In full sunlight, common morning glory plants can produce abundant blooms and become the highlight of your garden. They do not need much watering or fertilization, making them ideal garden plants.

There are many other morning glory plants, all of them considered weeds, but can beautify your garden with their bright flowers. Other morning species are White morning glory or Ipomoea lacunosa; Scarlet morning glory or Ipomoea hederifolia and Ivy-leaved morning glory or Ipomoea hederacea.

Common morning glory also has some variants called Crimson Rambler, Grandpa Ott’s and Milky way; the main difference being their flower colors. These plants are quite hardy and can survive in poor soil and weather conditions. They are sun-worshippers and will bloom best under full bright sunlight.

The seeds of Common morning glory have psychedelic effects since it contains a chemical called LSA, which is very similar to LSD. For this reason, commercially available seeds are sometimes coated with some toxic compounds so that they are inedible.

Parts of the plant are also used as medicine in traditional herbal medicine, the leaves being used to brew tea that’s used in treatment of headaches; also as an expectorant and diuretic.

Propagation is from seeds. Most plants can self-seed quite well, that being one of the reasons they are considered as invasive weeds.

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