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Psychoactive Morning Glories
Bits & Pieces
by Erowid

The "Bits & Pieces" section is intended for random snippets of information which don't fit
easily elsewhere and/or which have been newly added, but not yet carefully categorized.

  • Nomenclature
    There has been disagreement and confusion over the appropriate species name for psychoactive morning glories for more than 45 years. Both Schultes and Wasson referred to the heavenly blue species as Ipomoea violacea L. while others claim it is more appropriately Ipomoea tricolor Cav. An article by Der Marderosian from 1965 describes the source of the controversy, which continues today (2007). Different taxonomic databases categorize it differently (ex 1, ex 2). We have yet to see any definitive evidence that I. tricolor Cav. is the correct name, so we continue to use the traditional I. violacea.

  • Ergot alkaloids in Ipomoea species from an endophytic fungus? #
    Based on research in the late 2000s, it now appears that the ergot alkaloids (LSAs) present in morning glory and hawaiian baby woodrose seeds may originate in fungi that grow in the seeds.

    "Our observations suggest that accumulation of ergoline alkaloids in the Convolvulaceae may depend on the presence of a plant-associated fungus." Kucht et al 2004. Planta 219:619-625;

    "Several observations strongly indicate that this plant-associated fungus and its hitherto unidentified relatives occurring on different Convolvulaceae plants are responsible for the isolated occurrence of ergoline alkaloids in Convolvulaceae. This is the first report of an ergot alkaloid producing clavicipitaceous fungus associated with a dicotyledonous plant."
    Steiner U, Ahimsa-Mčller MA, Markert A, et al. "Molecular characterization of a seed transmitted clavicipitaceous fungus occurring on dicotyledoneous plants (Convolvulaceae)". Planta. Aug 2006;224(3):533-44. Epub 2006 Mar 9.

    "The fungi are seed transmitted. Their capacity to synthesize ergoline alkaloids depends on the presence of an intact differentiated host plant (e.g. Ipomoea asarifolia or Turbina corymbosa [Convolvulaceae]). Here, we present independent proof that these fungi are equipped with genetic material responsible for ergoline alkaloid biosynthesis." Markert A, Steffan N, Ploss K, et al. "Biosynthesis and accumulation of ergoline alkaloids in a mutualistic association between Ipomoea asarifolia (Convolvulaceae) and a clavicipitalean fungus". Plant Physiol. May 2008;147(1):296-305. Epub 2008 Mar 14.

  • Finnish names
    Finnish common name is "elämänlanka" (string/thread of life). The blue are particularly "päivänsini" (day's blue).

  • Swedish names
    In Swedish, the name is "blomman för dagen" - flower for (the) day. Name supposedly comes from the short-lived flowers.

  • Serbia & Montenegro names
    The common name for the family Convolvulaceae is "ladolez".