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Flaigg, Norman G.
Ruellia caroliniensis (J.F. Gmel.) Steud.
Carolina wild petunia
USDA Symbol: RUCA4
USDA Native Status: L48 (N)
An unbranched, 2-3 ft. perennial with crowded, opposite, oval leaves and flowers in unstalked, axillary clusters of 2-4. Usually only one or two of the light purple flowers are open on any given day. The flowers have a slender corolla tube and five, petal-like lobes. Seeds are borne on hooked projections. Violet, trumpet-shaped flowers on short hairy stems from leaf axils.
Among the seven other members of this genus occuring in the East, this one is recognized by the long-pointed calyx lobes and bracts under the flower. The flowers of Ruellia species recall garden petunias (genus Petunia) of the nightshade family (Solanaceae).
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Herb Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Purple
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug
, WV Native Distribution: FL
w. to e. AR Native Habitat:
Sandy, upland, open woods
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil Description: Dry, sandy soils.
Conditions Comments: A number of varieties and forms occur throughout the eastern U.S.
Seeds may be planted immediately after collection or stored and sown in spring. Germination is low. Seedlings should be given protection until the second year. Summer stem
cuttings seem to root well. Seed Collection:
Capsules change from yellow to green to brown over a 2 month period following flowering. A mature capsule
is smooth and 1/2 in. long. Be sure to monitor closely as capsules dehisce mature seeds. Store seeds dry in an airtight, refrigerated container. Seed Treatment:
Not Available Commercially Avail:
National Wetland Indicator Status
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1
(Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here
for map of regions.
From the National Suppliers Directory
According to the inventory provided by Associate Suppliers, this plant is available at the following locations:
- Hinton, WV
From the National Organizations Directory
According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:
Mt. Cuba Center
- Hockessin, DE
Record Last Modified: 2009-02-20
Research By: TWC Staff