ORRIN MORRIS: Morning glory thrives in vegetable, flower gardens

Morris artwork for 1202

Morris artwork for 1202

The traditional color artists use to depict the clothing of Mary the mother of Jesus is blue. It has become the symbol of purity, modesty and honesty.The Psalmist applauds these virtues in Psalm 24:3-5. "Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation."

The virtues of purity, modesty and honesty receive too little attention in our society. May the attention given to the Virgin Mary this Christmas Seasonsensitize us anew to these and other virtues that are too often mocked by the entertainment industry.

Today we examine one of the most common wildflowers. In fact, it is the third most common wild vine, the morning-glory family. Only kudzu and muscadine are more common.Common morning glory

Ipomoea purpureaThis variety of morning glory begins blooming in June and may continue until frost. The leaves are broad (1 to 2 inches) and heart-shaped. The blooms are generally blue but sometimes hints of pink occur in the tube and along the dominant veins of the flower. I have illustrated the blue example to support the theme.

The common morning glory is domesticated in that it thrives in vegetable and flower gardens. It also seeks out fences, especially wire fences in open sunshine. The vine is pale green and very twining and may become 10 feet long.

The morning glory family (convolulaceae) includes five other species that grow in our area of Georgia: jacquemontia (jacquemontia tamnifolia, featured in the Jan. 20, 2007 column) with lavender blooms; ivyleaf morning glory (ipomoea hederacea, featured in the Aug. 22, 2009 column) with colors that range from blue to pink to white and all shades between, including variegated blooms; red morning-glory (ipomoea coccinea, featured in the July 31, 2010 column) with bright red flowers that are smaller than the other family members; wild potato vine (ipomoea pandurata, featured in the Sept. 5, 2009 column) with white blooms that have purple tubes; and bindweed (calystegia spithamaea, not featured) with all white blooms.

Orrin Morris is a retired Baptist minister, local artist and art teacher. Notecards are available of the wildflowers published in the Citizen. His email is odmsketchingpad@yahoo.com or call him at 770-929-3697.