Most gardens in Japan are rarely without the morning glory that is still going on strong while other species wilt in the heat of sweltering humid summers. 

red asagaoasagao scarlet

 

The Morning Glory (convolvulus) or asagao (in Japanese) was traditionally prized for the medicinal value of their seeds (as a laxative). It enjoyed a burst of popularity in the 1700s, when “potted plants first became popular among the common folk of Edo and Osaka…for want of gardens, they began keeping large numbers of pots on the sidewalks outside their houses.”

This is a custom that still survives since Tokyo area’s tightly packed residential neighborhoods lack space more than ever.

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