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What color is morning glory blue?

Morning glories are known for their striking blue flowers that seem to glow in the morning sun. But blue is a complex color with many shades and variations. So what exactly is the color of morning glory blue?

The Science Behind Morning Glory Blue

The brilliant blue color of morning glories comes from anthocyanin pigments produced in the flowers. Anthocyanins are a class of flavonoid compounds that provide the blue, purple, and red colors seen in many flowers, fruits, and vegetables.

Specifically, the main anthocyanin found in morning glory flowers is called heavenly blue anthocyanin. This pigment reflects blue light strongly while absorbing other wavelengths of light, giving the blossoms their vivid blue hue.

Anthocyanin Structure

On a molecular level, anthocyanin pigments are made up of polyhydroxy and polymethoxy derivatives of flavilium salts. Their structure allows them to change configuration with variations in pH, resulting in different colored forms. At the pH of morning glory petals, the pigments take on a blue coloration.

Shades of Morning Glory Blue

While heavenly blue anthocyanins imbue all morning glories with shades of blue, there is still variability in the exact hue and intensity of color depending on the species and cultivar.

Heavenly Blue

The classic morning glory species, Ipomoea tricolor, contains the heavenly blue anthocyanin pigment that gives it a strong, vivid blue color. The cultivar ‘Heavenly Blue’ has large, electric blue flowers with a bright sheen that exemplifies this signature color.

Blue Picotee

The ‘Blue Picotee’ morning glory has blooms that are a slightly lighter baby blue toward the center, with a bold navy blue ring around the flower edges and creamy white streaks. This gives the blue a delicate, complex look.

Blue Star

‘Blue Star’ morning glories have rich violet-blue petals with bright white centers, resulting in a subtly different take on morning glory blue.

Morning Glory Type Color Description
Heavenly Blue Vivid electric blue
Blue Picotee Baby blue and navy blue mix with white
Blue Star Violet-blue with white centers

Morning Glory Blue Compared to Other Blues

So how does morning glory blue compare to other shades of blue found in nature and culture? Here are a few key comparisons:

Cornflower Blue

Cornflowers, with their small, delicate blossoms, have a blue color that is lighter and brighter than the rich midnight blue of morning glories.

Navy Blue

Navy blue is a darker, duller shade than morning glory blue. While morning glory petals have a vibrant, jewel-toned look, navy blue is muted and subdued.

Bluebonnet Blue

Bluebonnets, the state flower of Texas, might come closest to morning glory blue with their strong blue color. However, bluebonnets pull more purple/violet undertones compared to the pure blue of morning glories.

Blue Jeans Blue

The distinctive blue denim color of blue jeans is lighter, grayer, and more subdued than the clear blue of morning glories.

Color Comparison to Morning Glory Blue
Cornflower blue Lighter and brighter
Navy blue Darker and more muted
Bluebonnet blue More purple/violet undertones
Blue jeans blue Lighter, grayer, and more subdued

Uses of Morning Glory Blue

The vibrant color of morning glories has inspired many uses beyond adorning backyard trellises and garden beds. Here are some of the ways morning glory blue is utilized:

Fabric Dye

The blue pigment extracted from morning glory flowers can be used as a plant-based dye for fabrics. It provides a natural alternative to synthetic dyes.

Floral Arrangements

Morning glory blossoms are popular for adding bursts of blue to floral bouquets, centerpieces, and other arrangements.


Some cosmetic companies incorporate morning glory extracts into blue eye shadows, lipsticks, and nail polishes to achieve a clear sky blue color.

Culinary Uses

While not as common as other edible flowers, morning glory blossoms can add visual appeal to salads, desserts, and drinks. The flowers provide a natural blue food coloring.


Many artists and craftsmen enjoy working with the striking blue of morning glories, whether painting portraits of the flowers or dying decorative textiles and handicrafts.


With their luminous blue shades, morning glories dazzle the eyes and spirit. The signature morning glory blue is a brillant, saturated shade that inspired the name “heavenly blue.” While all morning glories share this signature blue, the exact hue varies with species and cultivar. Other blue flowers, fabrics, and pigments offer similar but not identical shades. By understanding the science, range, comparisons, and uses of morning glory blue, we can better appreciate the charm and uniqueness of these lovely blue blossoms.