Centennial Museum gecko logo

Desert Diary
Plants/Morning Glories


Many of us have pleasant memories of Morning Glory flowers gracing trellises or twining around taller plants in our gardens. Walking in our deserts or roadsides, you may have seen a relative, Field Bindweed, a plain country cousin, but still with a degree of attractiveness. But hush—there are certain groups where you don't want to mention these bloomers. And certain places where these plants, and possibly you too, will be run out of town.

Now who could be against beautiful flowers? Well, any of our local growers of cotton, for one—but if you really want to get into trouble, try transporting Morning Glories into Arizona. Both the domesticated flower and the bindweed are prohibited from entering the state. The reason? The same as may make you unwelcome to Chihuahuan Desert farmers, to whom these are not pretty flowers, but weeds. Weeds that climb aboard the crop plants, not only stealing sustenance from the soil, but making mechanical harvesting almost impossible.

Of course, human nature being what it is, from time to time, signs pop up: Save the Morning Glory!
pen and ink


Contributor: Arthur H. Harris, Laboratory for Environmental Biology, Centennial Museum, University of Texas at El Paso.

Desert Diary is a joint production of the Centennial Museum and KTEP National Public Radio at the University of Texas at El Paso.

Roadside member of the Morning Glory family

A member of the Morning Glory family growing wild along the edge of I-10 east of El Paso. Photograph by A.H. Harris.