Outline of Exhibition

Japanese morning glory
Dates August 7 through September 9

The culture of Japanese morning glory cultivation of the late Edo period is unique in the horticultural history of the Edo period with the creation and maintenance of a vast number of mutant morning glory strains differing in the shape and color of both leaves and flowers. Far before Gregor Mendel published the theory of heredity, morning glory enthusiasts seem to have grasped its principles through their experience and produced a multitude of variable strains. This was a horticultural feat unparalleled at the time to maintain and enjoy such sterile strains with full-double flowers in annual plants.
Japanese morning glories called "asagao" in Japanese are annual plants that can reproduce only through the production of seed. Many strains existing today have thus been maintained since the Edo period by sowing seeds, raising seedlings, flowering mature plants, and collecting seeds. Japanese morning glories have been enjoyed at three stages of their growth: finding mutant demono plants from the shapes of cotyledons, growing young plants with characteristic true leaves, and flowering unexpected fantastic flowers. This is a horticultural feat that skillfully exploits genetic principles.
This exhibition aims to provide a practical introduction to the pleasure offered by this unique cultural legacy of the Edo period, and hopefully to further visitors' understanding of the Japanese cultural history.

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