Ipomoea violacea - Morning Glory
- Convovulaceae - Mexico to South America


Family: Convolvulaceae
Genus: Ipomoea
Species: violacea (alternately known as tricolor)

Regardless of what you’ve read elsewhere, the Morning Glory has a rich, historical tradition in psychedelic and visionary practices across multiple cultures, including those of the Chontal Indians of Oaxaca, Mexico, and the highly evolved Aztecs.  These seeds, without question, have been utilized throughout time as a means of communicating with the gods.
The Aztec Culture believed that Morning Glory seeds were a means of connecting with the Sun Gods. The Chontal Indians (as well as the Mazatec Indians of Oaxaca, Mexico), were convinced not only that strong spiritual energy existed within this plant, but also that a highly evolved spirit, one that had the ability to connect them with the spiritual realm of the gods, inhabited the Morning Glory.

This unique ability to open divine portals, shared only by a few plants such as peyote, Salvia divinorum, and a few others, held a particularly sacred place within their culture and religion, since many plants contained spirits but only a few could give them direct connection with the gods in heaven.

It’s not surprising to note that the Mazatecs believed (not unlike the Native American Indians), that spirits lived within all matter, espeically organic matter such as plants and animals, and Morning Glory seeds were no exception.  The Mazatecs were also a highly evolved civilization that felt great connection with Mother Earth, and respected it to the highest degree.  They utilized a number of teacher plants in religion and ritual, and this was definitely one of them.

See “The Mazatec Indians – The Mushrooms Speak” for more information, and find Morning Glory Seeds at Shaman's Garden if you are interested in purchasing seeds that have not been treated with chemicals of any kind, as are most from Nursery's and Plant & Garden shops.

Morning Glory seeds contain a variety of lysergic acid derivatives, and eating the seeds reportedly can induce vividly colorful visuals, a sense of extreme calm, heightened spiritual awareness, acute empathy and euphoria.  But, ingesting the seeds is also illegal in most parts of the world, although the seeds themeselves and the plants are 100% legal to possess and cultivate.  It's when any kind of extraction takes place that they become illegal.
A range of wild and cultivated vines in the Morning Glory Family can be found in all vegetation regions throughout modern Mexico. The number of species within the genus Iopmea is believed to be over 500, but the one most widely regarded for its spiritual properties is the Ipomea violacea (often referred to as Ipomea tricolor) species, the strain known as tlililtzin by the Aztecs and employed in their ancient rituals during Pre-Hispanic times.
Pedro Ponce de Leon, the Spanish Benedictine monk famous for his work with the deaf, chronicled his findings of the effects of Morning Glory seeds, or tlililtzin, through his observations of the Aztecs’ Shamanic rituals: “Some say little black men appear before them and which tell them what they want to know about. Others say that our Lord appears before them, while still others say that it is angels. And when they do this, they enter a room, close themselves in, and have someone watch so that they can hear what they say.”

The ritual preparation method was more or less the same for all the ancient peoples of Oaxaca. A dosage would consist of twenty-six seeds. The seeds would be ground by a ten to fifteen year-old virgin, then mixed with water. This method was thought to allow the seeds to “speak.” This concoction would then be imbibed by a high ranking priest who would combine his shamanic wisdom with the magic of this sacred drink in order to converse with the gods.
The high priest would wear a headdress; an ornately beaded head of a jaguar. The jaguar is the symbol of the sun, and is thought to be the shaman’s power animal and ally throughout his spiritual journey. It was believed that a high ranking priest could change himself into a jaguar and once connected with his power animal through the ritual ingestion of a potion that included Morning Glory seeds, he would be led through a dramatic visionary experience wherein the high priest obtained his special abilities and powers by dying as a person and being reborn as a shaman. Once reborn as a shaman, he could convene with the Sun Gods.

Modern historians, who usually have a bias towards the religion of the conquering culture, conveniently leave out all historical records of the Morning Glory being used in Shamanic Tradition, although a rich history still exists both orally and in local texts where this plant has been held in such high esteem for generations. Upon traveling to the region, and after engaging in many conversations about the plants that are held in high esteem for their visionary value, the seeds of the Morning Glory are a quite deeply-rooted botanical that never fails to be mentioned.

Morning glory seeds are found in seed pods which form on the plant where a pollinated flower once was. The seeds can be produced any time in the year after the flowers have formed. When a flower falls off, remember the spot where it was. Check on that spot often and in a few days or weeks, a pod will form. When the pod is mature, it can be picked and dried. Eventually it will open and release the seeds.

The violacea species is also known as tricolor. It is a perennial twining vine, growing from ten to twenty-feet long, with heart-shaped leaves known to grow up to five-inches long. The flowers are funnel-shaped, purplish blue with a white tube. The plant is native in tropical climates.

Psychoactive varieties include the Heavenly Blue, Pearly Gates, Flying Saucers, Wedding Bells, Blue Star, and Summer Skies.  By far, the most well-known varieties are the Heavenly Blues, followed at a close second by Pearly Gates.  Flying Saucers also reportedly typically contain more active alkaloids, but are often difficult to find and as a result, far more expensive as well.  If you can find Flying Saucer Morning Glory Seeds, it's worth the extra expense to own these beautiful flowers.


Although this species is a perennial, it is usually cultivated as an annual in North America. Morning Glories thrive in strong, well-drained soil in full sun, and need to be kept moist with plenty of water. The seeds have a hard coating that should be nicked, then soaked for two hours in warm water before sowing. If the seeds are nicked and soaked, the vines will generally flower six weeks after sowing. The seeds should be planted a quarter- to a half-inch deep, no less than six inches apart.

Although Morning Glories like a lot of water, if the roots are kept too wet, the vines will produce very few, if any, flowers and therefore will set very little seed. When the seed pods appear, the seeds may be gathered as the pods become brown and dry. Immature seeds are more bitter than ripe ones. It has been reported that immature seeds contain more alkaloids, but this has not been confirmed. There are approximately 850-seeds per ounce of the Heavenly Blue variety.