Outline of Exhibition

Traditional Japanese Morning Glories
展示物イメージ

Morning glories have been cherished by many people since ancient times. Japan has experienced morning glory booms time and again, particularly since the Edo Period, such as in the Bunka, Bunsei, and Tempo eras (1804 - 1844), Kaei and Ansei eras (1848 - 1860), and Meiji and Taisho eras (1868 - 1926). Each boom has resulted in in the creation of new morning glory variations, with various changes and combinations made to leaves and flowers to be enjoyed. This practice – in modern genetics terms, discovering mutations and developing them into strains – was unique around the world, and a great many varieties were produced at the end of the Edo Period. However, some of these unfortunately fell victim to the popularity of the glamorous, large-blossomed morning glories and died out before much could be widely known about them. Others were carefully conserved by the efforts of some hobbyists, although they were not cultivated widely, and have survived even to this day.

Since 1999, the National Museum of Japanese History has exhibited these traditional morning glories produced using the original knowledge and technologies accumulated since the Edo Period as historical resources in an effort to increase people’s awareness and to make them think about the relationship between people and plants.

This year’s morning glory exhibition boasts about 100 strains of mainly mutant morning glories, accompanied by display panels themed “Secrets of the Forms of Mutant Morning Glories.” The panels introduce the mechanisms of stamen and pistil mutation; that by which leaves and petals lose the distinction between upper and lower sides, as in shishi (feathered), rangiku (polymorphic), sasa (delicate), and nanten (acuminate); and that of vine mutation, as in shidare (weeping), kodachi (dwarf), uzu (contracted), and sekka (fasciated).

Period Jul. 25 (Tue) - Sep. 10 (Sun), 2017
Venue Botanical Garden of Everyday Life, National Museum of Japanese History
Admissions ¥100
Groups of 20 or more: ¥50 per person
* Free admission for children junior high school age and younger
* Free admission for high school students every Saturday
Hours 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (no entrance after 4:00 p.m.)
* The Garden will open at 8:30 a.m. on Monday Aug. 14 to Sunday Aug. 20, 2017.
* Viewing is best in the early morning due to the special way in which the morning glory bloom.
Closed Jul. 31 (Tue) , Aug. 7 (Mon) , 21 (Mon) ,28 (Mon), and Sep.4 (Mon)
*The exhibition is opened on Aug. 14.
Sponsor National Museum of Japanese History

Exhibition Lineup

The morning glories grown and bred by us will be exhibited in pots in the greenhouse, Azuma-ya, and the Yoshizu exhibition hall of the Botanical Garden of Everyday Life. The contents of the exhibition are shown below.

●Mutant morning glories: 40 masaki strains, 25 demono strains
  * Including an apetalous morning glory discovered by the NMJH in 2005
●About 25 strains of large-blossomed morning glories produced since the Meiji period
●About 10 strains closely related to morning glories, produced in Europe and North America

A total of about 100 strains will be on display in some 700 pots.

Green variegated, star contracted, dragonfly leaves, red in white, spray star flower
1) Green variegated, star contracted, dragonfly leaves, red in white, spray star flower
The leaves are thick because of a gene called kikyo-uzu (star contracted). The flower is called kikyo-zaki or hoshi-zaki because it blooms like a Chinese bellflower (kikyo) or star (hoshi) with pointed petals.
Green variegated, peacock leaves, blue fasciated fully-open flower
2) Yellow, semi-contracted willow leaf, pale-blue-backed bluish-purple, blizzard, fine-split, delicate, duplicate flower

Such finely twisted leaves that they cannot be distinguished from the stem. The dianthus-like petals have fine etching at the tips. The petals are not as thin as the leaves.

 
Green delicate leaves, black pigeon cut crisscrossed flower
3) Yellow cicada leaves, chestnut brown, fully open, large-blossomed flower (Danjuro)
The leaves are yellow cicada leaves, and the flower is of a brown color also called kaki (persimmon). It is named Danjuro because the color is Ichikawa Danjuro’s favorite.
Yellow cicada leaves, chestnut brown, fully open, large-blossomed flower (Danjuro)
4) Matsushima, hoe-shaped leaves, purple in white, flecked, multicolored, fully open flower (Sakiwake)
The Matsushima leaves have green splotches on yellow leaves, and the flower pattern is flecked, variegated, and multicolored.
Yellow variegated, cicada leaves, green axis, red in white, flecked, multicolored, fully open, large-blossomed flower (Genpei)
5) Green contracted, knitted leaf, contracted Lilliputian, reddish gray, fully open flower
The leaves are very firm and dark green like a cactus. The strain grows very slowly and only up to around 20 cm.
Yellow gripping dragon claw leaves, purple full wind-bell, feathered, duplicate flower
6) Yellow gripping dragon claw leaves, purple full wind-bell, feathered, duplicate flower
The whole stem is undulating, with the leaves tucked so strongly inward that their surfaces are not seen. The leaves are called tsumeryuba (dragon claw leaf) or kikusuiba (water-scooping leaf), and the flower has tubular petals called furin (wind-bell) whose tips are folded.
Green, contracted willow leaf, Edo-purple, delicate, duplicate flower
7) Green delicate leaves, black pigeon cut crisscrossed flower
The spaces between the petals are deep, and with the lapse of time after blossoming, each petal will fold inward. The petals will rarely fold neatly, and they will usually be rolled inward.

 

Yellow, semi-contracted willow leaf, pale-blue-backed bluish-purple, blizzard, fine-split, delicate, duplicate flower
8) Green variegated, peacock leaves, blue fasciated fully-open flower
A variety known as fasciated, with the growing tip of the stem forming into a linear shape so the stem widens like a ribbon and does not branch. The flowers bloom together in clusters.
 
Yellow crepe leaf, silver-gray-barrel, white, fully-hooded, spouting-up, cupped, duplicate flower
9) Flying Saucers
Ipomoea tricolor is a convolvulaceous annual plant and is originated in Mexico. The main varieties are the blue Heavenly Blue variety without patterns and the white Pearly Gates variety. The Flying Saucers variety is characterized by its tie-dyed pattern.

Note: Please note that items in the exhibition are subject to change.