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Morning Glory

Morning glory, the name itself introduces the shimmering flower which blooms with the sunlight, dries up in the afternoon and fades into the darkness of the night giving way to new flowers day after day.
The very different shape that has been alloted to this natural beauty attracts various insects and especially the humming birds. This funnel shaped flower varies in colors and is the center of attraction of most of the birds and insects.

Convolvulaceae is the big flowering family of about 1000 species, to which morning glory has added never ending charm. It belongs to numerous generas like: Calystegia, Convolvulus, Ipomoea, Merremia and Rivea.

 

Flower description
A variety of species of morning glory are said to be the native of tropical America, Asia, subtropical and temperate regions. The elegant, extremely delicate and soft flower fades with the advancing sunlight. This adoravble and delicate flower is borne on a vine shaped plant.

Morning Glories are saucer shaped vine plants and produce typical funnel-shaped blossoms in white, red, blue, purple and yellow. Morning Glory flowers can be as much as 8 inches across although most are around 4 inches, however it may vary from species to species. For a perfect and booming growth the plant prefers sunlight and thrives well in mesic soils. Morning Glory are

half hardy annuals. They will often survive the first frost, especially if grown along the house or other buildings however will not survive a hard frost or freeze. This speedy climber is the ultimate in old-fashioned charm just that it needs full care and nourishment from time to time.

A perrenial plant, it bears flowers throughout the year. The vine needs a good and capable support to climb up and flourish well. A perfect reseeder, the morning glory can sprout up on its own year after year and every year. So if you have planted them once, next time you don't need to repeat the process.

 

Uses
Flowers have always been used for their ornamental distinctions and morning glory is no exception. This delicate flowers has a great market value because of the varying colors and shapes.
China had discovered the morning glory plant to be of essential medicinal use due to its seeds' laxative properties.
Morning glory not only attracts but hallucinate as well. It has varied usage because of its hallucinating characteristics.
In ancient mesoamerican civilization, this multipurpose flower's species was used to convert latex from the Castilla elastica tree and the guayule plant to produce rubber balls.

The rapid growth and excellent cover makes Morning glory plant find use as summer shade on building walls to avoid heating and cooling costs.
A species of Morning glory, Ipomoea aquatica is known as water spinach, water morning-glory, water convolvulus, Kang-kung, or swamp cabbage. It is majorly used as a green and nutritious vegetable in east and southeast Asian cuisines.
 

Interesting facts
The adorable Blue Dawn Flower (Ipomoea indica), also known as Ipomea learii, is a South American perennial morning glory species and it may produce 60,000 flowers at the rate of 300 per day.

Morning glories are a believed to be a close relative of Moon flowers which open at night to be pollinated by moths.

Some species of Morning glory seeds contain the harmful d-lysergic acid amide, ergoline

alkaloids better known as LSA, whcih are dangerously poisonous in nature.

Moonflower (Ipomea alba), a popular fragrant variety of morning glories opens in the evening with a sweet fragrance and last through the night until touched by the morning Sun. Moon flower is really the best choice for anyone who is fond of evening gardening.

It contains at least 50 genera and more than 1000 species. More than 200 species of morning glories come from the Americas alone.

 

A word of caution
The seeds of various species of morning glory contain ergot alkaloids which are hallucinogenic. When consumed these might show harmful effects as the can turn poisonous.
They should be avoided by pregnant women as it might lead to uterine contraction which can further cause miscarriage.
Individuals with a history of cardiovascular disease (Heart attack, blood clot, and stroke) or a family history of such problems, and the elderly should avoid consuming these seeds due to their vasoconstrictive effects.
Korean morning glory, Datura stramonium, is of a different species, is poisonous, and also produces hallucinogenic effects.

 
 
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