Photo: Knowsphotos (flickr)
Morning glories were first discovered growing in Mexico by Spanish monks who shared the seeds with monasteries in Spain. The monks often used their beautiful blue flowers in designs they painted on religious manuscripts. These flowers only live for a morning, and the original species were a heavenly light blue color. Now hybridizers have created the flowers in others shades such as rose and darker blues and violets, as well as bi-colors.
Morning glory vines can climb ten feet on supports, and the blossoms are usually single and close up as the sun gets strong at mid day. They share many characteristics of the nuisance vine bindweed, and the genus name is derived from the Greek and means “similar to bindweed.”
The family name “convolvulaceae” is from the Latin and means to entwine. The plant will grow in relatively poor soil and once established is drought tolerant. All parts of the plant are poisonous so immune to foraging deer. The vines self seed vigorously, so think carefully before planting them as they tend to take up permanent residence and become a lifelong investment. If you do decide to plant the seeds wrap them in a damp paper towel to keep them warm and moist for 24 hours before sowing them in late spring.