Its name may not roll as readily off your tongue as petunia, but Lophospermum (pronounced low-fo-SPUR-mum) is a name that gardeners looking for a dramatic, cascading vine for a hanging basket will be glad to know. A tender perennial vine native to the mountains of Mexico that's grown as annual, this is an easy plant to grow in full to part sun.
New for 2014 from Suntory Flowers is 'Lofos® Compact', which trails just 1-2 feet long, making it perfect for hanging baskets or window boxes. Covered from late spring through frost with 2-inch, trumpet-shaped, rose pink or white flowers, it keeps its good looks without pinching or pruning. The flowers drop off as they fade, making deadheading unnecessary. Plants do best if fertilized regularly with a water-soluble fertilizer and if the soil is kept slightly dry without letting plants wilt.
If you want a larger plant, consider Suntory's wine red or white flowered 'Lofos®' Lophospemum, which will trail as much as 7 feet or can be trained to grow up a trellis.
But whichever one you grow, you'll probably be able to stump your gardening friends with its name!
For more about 'Lofos® Compact' Lophospermum, go to National Garden Bureau