Heliotropium arborescens ‘Marine’ – The vanilla-scented violet-blue flower heads (up to 6″ across) are the main feature here, as they bloom right up to frost. ‘Marine’ is compact and heat tolerant, with heavily veined dark green foliage. Commonly known as Cherry Pie, it has been a favourite since Victorian times. Attracts butterflies. Grows 15-20″ high by 12-15″ wide. Zone 10.
Mimulus aurantiacus ‘Grenadine’ (syn. M. glutinosus, Diplacus glutinosus) – A ‘Tried and True’ variety with glossy deep green lance-shaped leaves on arching stems that trail down nicely. It bears exotic-looking trumpet-shaped red flowers (with a bright orange throat and edging) all summer long. Prefers part to full sun. Self-cleaning. Grows 18-24″ high by 36″ wide. Zone 8.
Rhododchiton atrosanguineus (syn. R. atrosanguineum) – Purple Bell Vine is an RHS Award of Garden Merit winner and a native of Mexico. It produces elegant dark purple (to near black) tubular flowers skirted with a rose-red calyx and green (often purple-tinted) heart-shaped foliage. Trails downwards without support. Attracts hummingbirds. Grows 10′ high. Zone 10.
Thunbergia alata ‘Sunrise Yellow’ – This Black-Eyed Susan Vine can be grown from seed and it is perennial where hardy. Here in coastal BC it is used as a climbing or trailing annual with 1.5″ wide five-petaled bright yellow flowers with a perfect near black eye. It will often twine around basket support wires and climb upwards. Grows 8′ high by 12″ wide. Hardy to zone 10.
Torenia BLUE MOON (syn. ‘Dantmoond’) – Finally something other than impatiens or begonias for those hanging baskets in part shade. Wishbone Flower or Torenia BLUE MOON has the look of a velvety lavender-blue snapdragon (red-streaked throat) with green mimulus-like foliage. It needs even moisture to perform well. Grows 8″ high by 12 to 16″ wide. Hardy to zone 10.