The Morning Glory Flower: It’s Meanings & Symbolism

Morning glory flowers

The morning glory flower is a flower of duality. The Victorian meaning of morning glory is either love or mortality or love in vain. They are a hardy vine indigenous to south america and they worked their way northward and now are either cultivated or grow wild throughout the united states and most parts of the world. A twining vine that will tenaciously latch onto anything vertical, there are over 500 varieties of this perennial flower. Some are grown as annuals but they are actually a perennial flower. Solid colors, bi-colors, strikingly outlinedand double morning glories are available along with some very unique cultivars. This plant establishes itself in any sunny vertical position, so be careful when planting. It tends to outgrow everything.

What Does the Morning Glory Mean

  • Unrequited love
  • Mortality of life
  • Love that is in vain
  • Restricted love (see Chinese meaning below)

Etymological Meaning of the Morning Glory Flower

Ipomoea comes from the latin prefix ip meaning worm and homolas which means like. So this beautiful flower was name after it’s growth habit which is worm like.

Symbolism of the Morning Glory

The morning glory has a number of meanings. The Chinese folklore of this flower symbolizes that lovers may only meet on one special day out of the year. The story behind this is that two young people fell deeply in love neglecting all of their responsibilities. As more and more chores were ignored the heavens started to rumble with the gods dissatisfaction. So, they decreed that the lovers could meet just one day out of the year. Morning glories also mean unrequited love. They can be found in Victorian literature and on victorian gravestones to signify a love that never ended. Conversely, it can mean that a potential love was never reciprocated. Christians believed that the morning glory related directly to the finite nature of life on earth, each single flower representing one life and life being represented by the daylight hours of the sun, withering and finally dying by nightfall.

Morning Glory Flower Color Meanings

Morning glory flowers can be found in blue, purple, red, white and yellow and variations of these colors. Some can be eight inches across; these are actually the familiar fragrant moon flowers found in many gardens. The color meaning of white symbolizes purity in the the morning glory while red symbolizes a strong heart.

Morning glory flowers

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Meaningful Botanical Characteristics of the Morning Glory Flower

Morning glory seeds are used in chinese medicine to treat disorders of the lungs, kidneys and large intestine. They have a purgative effect and can reduce or clear phlem in the lungs. They can act as a diuretic for the kidneys which reduces swelling in the body. (2)If morning glory seeds are eaten a person could have a hallucinogenic episode similar to a LSD experience. The active ingredients in morning glory seeds are lysergic acid amide, a close relative to LSD.

If necessary, the morning glory can be used to induce labor during pregnancy. The morning glory seeds were used in Mexican culture in religious ceremonies to induce a dream like state in order to better commune with the gods. Morning glories can be toxic and will cause nerve damage in larger doses than recommended. The flower and it’s stems, leaves and seeds must be used with great caution.

The morning glory root was used by native americans to make a tea which was especially effective for coughs because of it’s ability to remove phlem. The leaves were powdered and dried and made into a tea to treat stomach problems and headaches. (3) Morning glory wine can be made from the flower petals if they are soaked in purified cold water for about two weeks.

The Morning Glory Flower Interesting Facts

  • One variety, the ipomoea quamoclit has cypress like leaves that are finely cut instead of the typical heart shaped leaves found on most ipomoeas
  • The ipomoea lobata variety has red elongated flowers – that are a closed tubular form, not funnel or start shaped. There are about five to a stem that start out pure red then progressively get lighter and larger as you get closer to the bottom of the stem. The leaves are the heart shaped leaves of many morning glories
  • The sweet potato is in the ipomoea family of plants

Offer the Morning Glory on These Occasions

I would offer the morning glory as a symbol to a person who needs some tenacity to go after their dreams. Morning glories take each twist and turn in the road (or on the trellis!) in their stride and just keep on going. This is the key to their success. Morning glories are also the birth flower for those born in September. I would offer them for September birthdays either as a potted plant or maybe a diary with an embossed design of a morning glory on it.

The Morning Glory Flower’s Message

Tenacity and tenderness in all things, be gentle but strong in your endeavors with other people, animals and nature. Above all hold fast to your goals.

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Morning glory flowers

Morning glory flowers

Morning glory flowers

Morning glory flowers

Morning glory flowers

Morning glory flowers

a macro of a blue morning glory in the sun

Old garden wall comprised of bricks stone and mortar with Morning Glory.