With their big trumpet-shaped blooms, Morning Glory is a garden stunner for full sun conditions. The plant’s tendrils wrap around an arch, framework, or even a pergola. In the Gardens, we use a triangular-shaped trellis that can be created with bamboo and some wire.
Morning glories have slender stems, heart-shaped leaves, and gorgeous flowers of pink, purple-blue, magenta, or white. The blooms unfurl in the sun and the romantic tendrils that lend old-fashioned charm. Think of the most romantic garden from the movies, and chances are Morning Glory is in the background.
The plant can be trained to use as a dense groundcover. The vine thrives under many different growing conditions and can grow up to 15 feet in one season depending on the cultivar! Morning glories are drought-tolerant and bloom from early summer to the late fall. Their big, fragrant, colorful flowers are known to attract pollinators, including butterflies and hummingbirds!
Morning Glories at Bok Tower Gardens
At Bok Tower Gardens we have been using the cultivar Ipmomoea tricolor ‘Clarke’s Heavenly Blue’. This cultivar tends to grow to 12 feet tall with roughly 4-inch flowers. ‘Clarke’s Heavenly Blue’ is an heirloom variety that came into the trade during the 1920s to early 1930s. The light blue flower fades to a white throat, creating a dramatic flower known to attract visitors cameras in addition to pollinators looking for a snack. The limited amount of morning glories we grow are grown for their ability to provide food for an impressive array of pollinators which includes bees and Lepidoptera.
Symbolism of the Morning Glory
Morning Glory plants symbolize unrequited love. Often found in Victorian literature and on Victorian gravestones to signify a love that never ended and conversely, a love that was never reciprocated.
The Morning Glory flower is also called the Ipomoea. The Latin name comes from the Latin prefix ip, which translates to the words “worm” and “like”. Morning Glory wraps itself around things, grows like a worm, and has been called “worm flower.”
Morning Glory is blooming now in the Terrace Garden located near the Visitor Center.
Note: Morning glory seeds are poisonous, especially in large quantities. Keep them out of reach of children and pets.
Brendan Huggins, Director of Horticulture, is the author of this blog. Erica Smith, Director of Marketing, created the photos.