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Morning glory

Drugs & Medication

Morning glory

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An unopened spiral bud of a morning glory flower
An unopened spiral bud of a morning glory flower
Morning Glory flower
Morning Glory flower

Morning glory is a common name for a number of species of flowering plants in the family the Convolvulaceae, belonging to the following genera:

  • Calystegia
    Convolvulus
    Ipomoea
    Merremia
    Rivea

As the name implies, morning glory flowers, which are funnel-shaped, open at morning time, allowing them to be pollinated by hummingbirds, butterflies, bees and other daytime insects and birds, as well as Hawkmoth at dusk for longer blooming variants. The flower typically lasts for a single morning and dies in the afternoon. New flowers bloom each day. The flowers usually start to fade a couple of hours before the petals start showing visible curling. They prefer full sun throughout the day, and mesic soils. In cultivation, most are treated as perennial plants in tropical areas, and as annual plants in colder climates, but some species tolerate winter cold.

Morning glory is also called asagao (in Japanese, a compound of 朝 asa "morning" and 顔 kao "face"). A rare brownish-coloured variant known as Danjuro is very popular. 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 first to cultivate it as an ornament. 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.

Ancient Mesoamerican civilizations used it to coagulate rubber latex to produce bouncing rubber balls. The sulphur in the Morning Glory vine served to vulcanize the rubber; a process which pre-dates the Charles Goodyear discovery by over 1000 years.

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 air condtioning costs.

Contents

Culinary use

Ipomoea aquatica, known as water teeth, water morning-glory, water convolvulus or swamp cabbage, is popularly used as a green vegetable especially in East and Southeast Asian cuisines.

Recreational use

The seeds of many species of morning glory contain d-lysergic acid amide, ergoline alkaloids better known as LSA. Seeds of I. violacea and R. corymbosa are used as hallucinogens. They 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 vomiting, nausea and abdominal pain. Typically some form of a warning or notice is printed on the package if seeds have been treated.

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This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.


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