What Is the Scientific Name of the Morning Glory?

scientific-name-morning-glory Credit: Martin Labar/Flickr/CC-BY-2.0

Morning glories are members of family Convolvulaceae, and genus Ipomoea L. There are more than 75 species of morning glories and another 10 to 20 subspecies and varieties.

The genus name Ipomoea comes from the Greek word for "wormlike" and probably refers to the way that the vines in most species intertwine. Morning glories earned their common name because many species open at night and close in the morning, making early morning the best time to appreciate their beauty, or glory.

The seeds of some species of morning glory contain derivatives of lysergic acid, commonly known as the hallucinogen LSD. The Aztecs used these plants as medications and ceremonial drugs, and the Oaxacans of Mexico still use morning glories for prophesy and divination rituals and for diagnosing and treating illnesses.