I painted this morning glory yesterday, finishing the flowers only at night so I really couldn’t see clearly what I was painting under the study lamp.
I didn’t realise that there are over 250 species of morning glories and that one of them, the Ipomoea aquatica is actually the kang kung, a local vegetable that we normally cook here in Singapore and Malaysia with sambal belachan chilli or fermented bean curd called nam yu in Cantonese.
I also found out that morning glory was known in China for its medicinal uses, as its seeds have laxative properties. It was later introduced to the Japanese in the 9th century, where it was cultivated as an ornamental flower and became very popular. Apparently, the Japanese have led the world in developing varieties.
Even further back in time, ancient civilizations such as the Mesoamerican civilizations used the suplur in the morning glory’s juice to make rubber, some 3,000 years ago. And Aztec priests in Mexico made use of the plant’s hallucinogenic properties, I guess for religious or healing purposes.
So interesting, this humble morning glory.
Have a happy week ahead!
the well bucket-entangled,
I ask for water
~ Fukuda Chiyo-ni (福田 千代尼; 1703 – 2 October 1775), a Japanese poet of the Edo period