They say ‘a rose is just a rose’ but when it comes to morning glories, you can’t always assume the same.
In Japan, what you think is a morning glory is not always just a morning glory.
Especially this time of year, if you see one of these star-shaped beauties you might just be looking at an afternoon glory.
While morning glories and the afternoon varieties might both be planted in spring, morning glories bloom in summer and afternoon glories bloom later into the fall, depending on the variety and climate. There are also “evening glories”, which can be eaten. That is, the fruit of this flower when dried is called kanpio, which is popular in makimono, sushi rolls.
If you stop next to one of these glorious flowers in the afternoon sun, ask her for her name.
In Japan there are many varieties:
朝顔 Asagao Morning Glory
昼顔 Hirugao Afternoon Glory
夕顔 Yuugao Evening Glory
西洋顔 Seiyo-gao Heavenly Blue Morning Glory
イリオモて Iriomote A variety from Okinawa with a thick vine, beware they can grow wild and damage other flowers in the garden
Joanne G. Yoshida