What can you tell me about Katy Ruellia? I need something with color that will take the hot southeast Texas summers and the cold/wet winters that stays decent and will flower.
The Katy Ruellia, Ruellia brittoniana, is an introduced species from Mexico. Other common names are Mexican petunia and Britton's petunia. It comes in a variety of flower colors--bluish purple, pink, and white. Its foliage is evergreen and it is resistant to freezing. With a hard freeze (mid-20s) the leaves will die back but return quickly. It is drought tolerant but can be agressively invasive when it receives abundant moisture. The Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council considers it a Category I invasive species which means that it is "altering native plant communities by displacing native species, changing community structures or ecological functions, or hybridizing with natives." You can read a Plant Profile for Ruellia brittoniana on the USDA Plants Database. You can also read about it on the web page for University of Arizona Pima County Cooperative Extension and at the Floridata Marketplace web page. You might consider using instead wild petunias native to Texas. For example, Carolina wild petunia, Ruellia caroliniensis, has showy violet flowers, is a perennial and cold hardy (occurring as far north as Pennsylvania). The wild white petunia, R. metziae, has white flowers and is considered evergreen. You can see a list and read about some of the wild petunias native to Texas in the Native Plants Database on the Wildflower Center web page.
More Wildflowers Questions
Replacing non-native invasives with native grasses and wildflowers from Round Rock TX April 04, 2012 - I have a small piece of property (1.5 AC) East of Austin, Texas that get's overgrown with weedy vegetation (johnson grass, dandelion, and some tall yellow flowering plant that I see all over the medi... view the full question and answer
Lupinus perennis Poisonous to Dogs? April 14, 2013 - I have heard that some lupine varieties are quite poisonous to dogs, others are not. Do you know if it's safe for my dogs if I plant and encourage Lupinus perennis in my NH meadow? view the full question and answer
Cutting back annual wildflowers after going to seed August 16, 2006 - I purchased some wildflower seeds from the center last year, planted them in Nov-Dec and they have done fairly well this year despite our fairly dry winter. My question is now that they are done bloom... view the full question and answer
Prime wildflower bloom viewing times in Texas January 31, 2007 - I am planning to drive from Wisconsin to San Antonio in the spring. My schedule is flexible, so I would like to time the trip with the wildflower bloom. I grew up in Texas, but I can't remember when ... view the full question and answer
Getting started in gardening September 16, 2006 - Does the center publish any or several planting guides to help gardeners get started?
I find it is overwhelming understanding where to start. I have some lake property in East Texas close to Athen... view the full question and answer