Thursday, February 9, 2012

Guest Blog: Mollie Cox Bryan and Morning Glories

Mollie Cox Bryan is an author, scrap-booker, blogger and childhood friend. The first book in her new mystery series, A SCRAPBOOK OF SECRETS, was just published.
Blue Morning glories
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Are Morning Glories sneaky? I confess that sometimes I really think certain plants and flowers have a personality. I love the flowers—the vibrant colors, the way they open in the morning and then fold during the day. Part of the joy I take in them is that they are little survivors and opportunists, popping up everywhere in my backyard—which is exactly what my husband hates about them. Where I see a charm, he sees the need for order. Oh well. But the little sneaky, beautiful flower has found its way into my first novel—SCRAPBOOK OF SECRETS: A CUMBERLAND CREEK MYSTERY. The copy editor asked why so many Morning Glories. (Perhaps copy editors and orderly husbands have something in common?) I responded that I live in Virginia, my book is set in Virginia, and I love the flower. She didn’t press the issue—so my Morning Glories are safe, at least in my novel.

Danny: There are hundreds of different varieties of Morning Glories. One Japanese variety, Shidare-asagao, is particularly interesting for scientists because it has lost its balance. Plants, like people, have a sense of balance that allows them to know up from down. Just as we know when we're upside down, or just lying down, a plant also knows when its not vertical. Plants shift their growth according to gravity. That's why plant shoots always grow up, and roots always grow down (you can test this at home by placing a plant and its pot on its side). Shidare-asagao though has lost its sense of gravity. Rather than growing up, its shoots fall down. This makes for a great hanging plant.

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