By: Marissa Joya
Ipomoea purpurea pictured on USFCA Lone Mountain
Ipomoea purpurea also known as Common Morning Glory is a plant that grows and entwines itself with structures. It will grow up a wall and cover it. Ipomoea purpurea has heart shaped leaves and trumpet shaped flowers. The stems of this plant are covered in brown hair. This plant is native to Mexico and Central America.
The common name morning glory is due to the fact that the trumpet shaped flowers of this plant open in the morning and close in the afternoon. Ipomoea purpurea has a long bloom time from early summer to early fall. This plant self-seeds and grows quickly. It will climb up structures like fences or walls. Ipomoea purpurea attracts butterflies and hummingbirds and is virtually disease and pest free.
Ipomoea purpurea is ornamental, grown for its beautiful purple flowers. It can be grown in a wide variety of soil types, so it is naturalized in many temperate and subtropical areas around the globe. Ipomoea purpurea is a noxious weed but is grown despite that for its ornamental value.
The seeds of Ipomoea purpurea contain the chemical LSA which has similar properties to LSD. Thus, there is some history of people using Ipomoea purpurea’s seeds as a psychedelic. Because of this, commercial Ipomoea purpurea are often treated with a chemical that is a cumulative neurotoxin. This chemical serves as a preservative, but also discourages the recreational use of this plant’s seeds. Seeds are also coated with a different chemical that causes nausea and abdominal pain.