Yuka

Face of Japanese Summer: Morning Glory


Good morning all! Hope you are surviving this muggy summer here in Japan.

I love flowers. Since there are four seasons in Japan, you can enjoy all different kinds of flowers for every season.


Flowers/ plant that represent 4 seasons in Japan

Flowers/ plant that represent 4 seasons in Japan



One of the flowers that can be seen in many places in Japan during summer is the “Morning Glory”.


Morning Glory

Morning Glory



Morning glory is one of the flowers that represent Japan.
It is said that morning glory was introduced to Japan from China during Nara period.
In China, morning glory is called “Kanigoshi” and was used as a medicine.
Ever since it was introduced here in Japan, it was also used as a medical herb for a long time.
The oil inside the seed of morning glory, there is a laxative effect and is used as herbal medicine to this date.


Morning glory seeds

Morning glory seeds



When morning glory was first introduced, the flowers were little and blue.

Later on, people started to draw pictures of morning glory onto picture scrolls and appreciate the beauty of it.
Here are some fun facts about morning glory that you might not know of:
  • The name ipomoea (another word for morning glory) comes from the Greek words ips for “worm” and homoios for “like” because of the plant’s worm-like stem.
  • The seeds are toxic if ingested. The seeds in many morning glory species contain psychedelic properties, producing similar effect as LSD when taken in large doses.
  • Ipomoea aquatica, also known as water morning glory or water spinach is eaten as a vegetable in many parts of Asia.
  • Due to its short life span, the morning glory symbolizes unrequited love and affection in the language of flowers.
Morning Glory Stir Fly in Thailand

Morning Glory Stir Fly in Thailand



In Japan, morning glory is often grown in the houses as a “heat curtain” during summer to shut down the sunshine from outside and keep the temperature down.

Morning Glory curtain

Morning Glory curtain



Smart and pretty idea to cut down the electricity bill eh?

If you are interested, check out the link below to grow your own morning glory curtain (*not allowed in Sakura House premises!!)

http://global.kyocera.com/ecology/greencurtains/sodateyou.html
Enjoy seasons by visiting flower gardens or growing your own flowers in a yard if you can!
Happy Flower Day!

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