Blue DazeBotanical name: EvolvulusPronunciation...

PLANT NOTEBOOK

November 16, 1991|By Amalie Adler Ascher

Blue Daze

Botanical name: Evolvulus

Pronunciation: e-VOLV-u-las

Family: Convolvulaceae (Morning glory)

Class: Tender perennial

Origin: Southwestern and south central U.S.

Display period: Summer

Height: 15 to 18 inches

Environment: Sun

Evolvulus has won favor in Texas and Florida for its resistence to heat, but it's rare elsewhere. Sharon Gravitt general manager of Biopropagation Inc., a Houston supplier of starter plants to wholesalers internationally, attributes its relative obscurity to the need to propagate by cuttings rather than from seed.

Although not much bigger than a dime, evolvulus' bright, clear-blue morning glory-type flowers accented with white centers are pretty as a picture. In the garden, the stems creep out and root to create a dense ground cover. Cutting plants back, Ms. Gravitt said in a recent phone interview, keeps them in bounds. Stems, moreover, are so easy to root, they'll take in ordinary potting soil.

Pamela J. Harper, author of the splendid new "Designing With Perennials" (Macmillan, $40), one of only four books in my not inconsiderable library to mention evolvulus, calls it "a great plant that flowers and flowers and flowers all summer." Speaking from her home in Seaford, Va., Ms. Harper said she uses the plant as edging for whiskey barrels and hanging baskets and to cascade over walls.

Established plants stand up to drought, she adds. Except for possible root rot from over-watering, they are practically pest and disease free.

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