I was passing by a few agricultural farms lying between Lehbab and Margham desert in Dubai. Among a vast ocean of sand, each farm represents an eye-catching oasis.

A feast for the eye

In one corner of an old farm, I saw vivid violet flowers decorating a fence. The flowers were Cairo morning glory, also known as Messina creeper, coast morning glory, ivy-leaved morning glory, railroad creeper and mile-a-minute vine. Its botanical name has also quite a range with the most recently accepted one being Ipomoea cairica, while others include Convolvulus cairica, Ipomoea palmata, Ipomoea stipulacea and Ipomoea tuberculata.

Unique colours

Whatever may be the name, this flower has a unique colour. Most specimens I saw had lavender and variations of violet. Morning-glory may also be pure white. Cairo morning-glory is an ornamental plant found in many gardens and parks in the UAE. It has a worldwide distribution. Basically it's a creeper. Without any support, it can grow on flat ground. It grows well where there is fresh water. It can even grow on the beach where average annual rainfall is high. When supported, it shows prolific growth.

A beauty in itself

Because it can withstand most environments minus the desert and snowy areas, it has been transported around the world. As it grows wild in tropical countries, it's considered a noxious weed giving it the status of an “invasive species''. But, when grown in a garden, it definitely enhances its beauty.