Friday, 12 November 2010


Ipomoea is the largest genus in the flowering plant family Convolvulaceae with over 500 species.  Most of them are known as morning glory.  They are colourful, climb up supports and seek out light.  Their roots are easy to dig or pull out and they tend to die off at the end of the summer after setting seed.  The trumpet like flowers open to the sun and close at other times.

Their cousins of the genus Calystegia look similar, but don't behave so well.  Bindweed is the most familiar in this group.  It climbs over anything and binds to the point of strangling other plants.  The roots are invasive and resemble underground spaghetti (made of strong flex).  The only way to eradicate bindweed is to dig out every last bit of root, or it will return and, once again, make an attempt at world domination.

I think of these 2 cousins when people ask me how far it's possible to change personality.

I've seen introverts, who try to fade into the wallpaper, grow in confidence and develop skills in small talk and public speaking.  I've never seen introverts shift from enjoying 1:1 friendships and conversations to relishing hanging out with a group and sharing light exchanges with a bunch of people at the same time.

I don't think elephants turn into tigers, or giraffes into wildebeestes.  We can shift along the spectrum and expand our range, but not shift into another personality type altogether.

Plants may become more well behaved and less aggressive in style.  The morning glory doesn't turn into a short, non climbing plant, with bushy spikes and fruit.  Bindweed will always have its characteristic flowers, even if becomes more domestic and less delinquent.

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