Thanks to its brightly colored, funnel-shaped flowers, this old-fashioned European native is often confused with morning glory (Ipomoea tricolor), a twining vine of the tropics. Dwarf morning glory, however, doesn't climband its flowers stay open all day, unlike those of its familiar relative. A traditional (if somewhat forgotten) bedding plant, it is excellent for massing, edging, hanging baskets, or containers. Forms a bushy, slightly trailing mound to 1216 in. high and 2 ft. wide, with narrow, dark green leaves to 1 in. long. Blooms profusely in summer, covering itself with striking, 1- to 2-in.-wide flowers in royal blue, red, pink, or white, all with a yellow-and-white starburst pattern in the throat. Plants in the Ensign series are compact and free blooming.
Nick the hard seeds with a knife and soak them in water overnight before sowing. Plant in fall in central and south Florida; elsewhere, plant in spring after the soil has warmed.