Ruellia caroliniensis (J.F. Gmel.) Steud.
Carolina wild petunia
Acanthaceae (Acanthus Family)
USDA Symbol: RUCA4
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).
From the Image Gallery
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Purple
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug
DistributionUSA: AL , AR , DC , DE , FL , GA , IL , IN , KY , LA , MD , MS , NC , NJ , OH , OK , PA , SC , TN , TX , VA , WV
Native Distribution: FL to NJ, 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.
PropagationDescription: 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: yes
From the National Suppliers DirectoryAccording to the inventory provided by Associate Suppliers, this plant is available at the following locations:
Enchanter's Garden - Hinton, WV
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE
Recommended Species Lists
Find native plant species by state. Each list contains commercially available species suitable for gardens and planned landscapes. Once you have selected a collection, you can browse the collection or search within it using the combination search.View Recommended Species page
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Ruellia caroliniensis in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Ruellia caroliniensis in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Ruellia caroliniensis
MetadataRecord Modified: 2009-02-20
Research By: TWC Staff