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Plant Profile: Ground Morning Glory (Convolvulus sabatius aka C. mauritanicus)

Also called trailing morning glory and blue rock bindweed,  this evergreen woody stemmed perennial is tender and usually grown as an annual.  It is native to Italy and North Africa and is a member of the morning glory family, Convolvulaceae, that also includes sweet potato, water spinach, and dodder.  Plants grow 6-9″ tall and have slightly hairy alternate leaves  that are ovate, 1-1.5″ long, and have entire margins and short petioles.  The funnel-shaped  flowers are lavender blue often with lighter throat,  1-2″ wide, and appear in the leaf axils from late spring into summer over a long bloom time.   Ground morning glory is particular attractive in window boxes , hanging containers, or growing over a wall where its trailing growth habit shows to best advantage.   The genus name, Convolvulus, comes from the Latin word convolvere meaning to twine around  and refers to the twining nature of most of the plants in the genus.  The specific epithet, sabartius, refers to the Savona region in north-west Italy where the plant was first described.

Type: Woody evergreen tender perennial

Bloom: Funnel-shaped , 1-2″ wide lavender blue flowers often with lighter throat in the leaf axils from late spring into summer

Size: 6-9″ H x 1-3′ W

Light:Full sun

Soil:Average, medium moist to dry,  well-drained

Hardiness: Zones 8-10

Care: Pinch to encourage new growth

Pests and Diseases: Aphids, rust, leaf spot, spider mites

Propagation: Division in spring; softwood cuttings in late spring, greenwood cuttings in summer

Companion Plants:Black eyed Susan vine, lantana, million bells, sweet alyssum, geranium

Outstanding Selections:

‘Baby Moon’ (light blue flowers)

‘Full Moon’ (darker blue, larger flowers)