What is a Bush Morning Glory?

G. Wiesen

A bush morning glory is typically any one of a number of different flowering shrubs that belong to the Convolvulaceae family. There are a number of different genus and species within this family, however, and though they may differ somewhat in appearance, they are similar in many ways. They typically grow to about the same moderate size, are fairly hearty plants that can deal with somewhat harsh environments, and are resistant to droughts. A bush morning glory may range rather greatly in color, and everything from white to vivid purples and violets can be quite common.

Bush morning glories thrive in the hot, sunny American Southwest.
Bush morning glories thrive in the hot, sunny American Southwest.

Though there are many different types of bush morning glory, in general they all tend to share certain attributes and common features. As the name would imply, they grow in bushes or shrubs about 3 feet (about 0.9 meters) in height and 3 or 4 feet (between 0.9 and 1.2 meters) in diameter; they also consist primarily of woody undergrowth and green or gray leaves that cover the bush. When pruned back, the woody growth is generally unseen and covered by the leaves and flowers, though when not pruned properly these bushes can begin to grow more prodigiously. Depending on the type of bush morning glory, they can bloom throughout the year and will bloom repeatedly within a single year, making them a very attractive bush for residential or business landscaping.

The flowers of a bush morning glory can range dramatically in color, and the different types of plants within the Convolvulaceae family often dictate the color. For example, Ipomoea carnea, a genus and species within the family, can potentially bloom flowers that are violet and purple, or nearly white. Tricolor Convolvulus species, however, will often display multiple colors on a single flower and can have flowers with vivid purples around the edges, fading into white in the middle and turning to yellow near the inside. All of these different types of bush morning glory typically are equally suited to growth in a variety of climates.

A bush morning glory is a fairly resilient plant and can be used in areas with low amounts of rainfall or other water sources. They usually should be planted in full sun or partial shade, and do well in climates that are warm but with temperatures that do not drop down much lower than about 20° F (around -6.67° C) in the winter. While a bush morning glory does need water, it can go fairly long periods of time without watering and should be planted in an area with plenty of drainage to avoid excess watering. This plant is quite popular in areas with dry climates and plenty of sun, such as Southern Europe and the Southwest US.

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