Saturday, September 18, 2010

Morning Glory 'Cornell'

Seeds for 'Cornell' were purchased on E-Bay on 2005. I don't remember who from or how much I paid for them. Honestly, I don't know why I bought them since I was living in a rented townhouse and literally had a postage stamp sized garden!

I moved to a house in the fall of 2005 and promptly forgot about them. The seeds spent the intervening years in my basement laundry room. Last winter when money was extremely tight I vowed to sow as many of my old seed as possible and they were added to the list.

I soaked 10 seeds overnight and then transferred them to damp paper towels in a plastic container. The next day I checked them and every seed had sent a out a strong root. They were planted in peat pellets and the rest you can see below.

Here they are looking very strong and healthy.

The glamour shot. The color is a deeper, rosier tone than I can capture in pictures.

Two seedling were planted on each side of the gate. Above is the right side. This is not even a full flowering day.

Here is the left side, a good illustration of the plant habit.

A nice group photo, with 'Grandpa Ott' peeking through.

Still looking good in September.

Judging from the three lobed leaves, this is from the Ipomea nil species, that's the Japanese Imperial Giants strains in the trade. The vines are very vigorous, start to flower in late July. Individual flowers can reach up to 6 inches in diameter. It also sets seed like a champ. I'm hoping to save quite a lot of them this fall. There is one flaw, some of the buds seem to get hung up and need to be teased open. The variety is so floriferous, this is not a major issue. This is definitely a variety that needs to be in wider circulation!

I have not been able to discover anything about the history of this variety. Countless web searches have yielded little. I do have a vague recollection that it is from the early 1960's. If any who read this have any background information, please let me know.


  1. Hi Ed,
    I liked your blurb in the profile,"Just an obsessed gardener, trying to grow as much as possible, in the least space possible." Being an urban gardener, I feel the same way. The title of the post captured my attention. I am a Master Gardener with Cornell and was intrigued by your forgotten seeds. I agree, they should be on the market. This year I struggled with Ipomoea. The plants are sky high, but not one flower on six plants. Obviously you did not have that problem. Have a secret? I grew the same blue variety for years and this never happened before. I made sure they had water everyday, maybe I should have just forgotten about them, like you did with the old seed.

  2. Ed, have you by any chance been in touch with this man, who seems to know just about everything there is to know about morning glories? He mentions Cornell in quite a few of his GardenWeb posts at

    I am mostly interested in the family CONVOLVULACEAE!
    I’ve been growing/collecting since I was 2yrs born.
    My e-mail is:
    I also correspond by regular mail at : Ronald Kushner 25 Carolyn Way,Netcong,NJ 07857-1435
    I am interested in a wide range of species including ’wild’native/indigenous/endemics and various cultivars, especially rare/unusual, commercial from US/UK.
    Thanks! I also have a page at another webgarden site here
    A Forum devoted to Morning Glories is here at

  3. What an absolutely gorgeous Morning Glory! Isn't it amazing how life can sit dormant for so long. I have tried several morning glories in my yard and I must not have enough sun because they don't ever have time to bloom. I see wild ones that bloom their little heads off, but no luck here, so I'm envious of your pretty blooms!

  4. gardenwalkgardentalk- I have no secret, some of them starting blooming in early July, and some are just starting now. 'Heavenly Blue' and her sports are just starting to bloom now.

    Annie's Granny- How could you do that to me! I followed the links and now I have a huge list of kinds I HAVE TO Have! I'm determined to do better with vegetables next year, looks like a lot of my 200+ daylilies are leaving next spring...

    Suzy- I keep checking, you may get buds with the shorter days.