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Flaigg, Norman G.
Ruellia nudiflora (Engelm. & Gray) Urban
Violet ruellia, Common wild petunia, Violet wild petunia, Wild petunia
USDA Symbol: runu
USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.
The wild petunia has flowers much like those of the cultivated petunia (genus Petunia, family Solanaceae). The plants are erect, 1–2 feet tall, with few branches. The leaves are opposite, 2–5 inches long, narrowed at the base, on short stems. Gray-green leaves have curly or wavy-toothed margins. At the top of the plant are several trumpet-shaped, purplish blossoms that are nearly 2 inches across at the opening. Flowers are lavender to purple, trumpet-shaped, deeply lobed at the flared rim, and open about sunrise, falling from plant in early afternoon, lasting only one day.
This genus Ruellia is not the petunia common as potted plants which are in the Solanaceae (Potato Family). This genus of wild petunias is in the Acanthaceae (Ancanthus) Family.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Herb Root Type: Fibrous Leaf Retention: Deciduous Leaf Complexity: Simple Leaf Shape: Ovate Leaf Venation: Pinnate Leaf Pubescence:
Puberulent Leaf Margin:
Ciliate Leaf Apex: Obtuse Leaf Base: Cuneate Breeding System:
Flowers Bisexual Size Notes:
1-2 feet. Leaf:
Flowers 55 mm long Fruit:
Seeds brown to dark brown 1.6-2 cm Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Purple
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct
AZ , LA , TX Native Distribution:
S. TX to s. AZ & n.e. Mex. Native Habitat:
Woodlands edge, Opening, Thickets USDA Native Status: L48(N)
Growing ConditionsWater Use:
Low , Medium Light Requirement:
Sun , Part Shade , Shade Soil Moisture:
Dry , Moist Soil Description:
Sandy Conditions Comments:
Wild petunia is very easy to grow, spreading vigorously from seed, which in some cases may be problematic. Adds a nice touch to woodland gardens and to walkways. Works well as a groundcover and tolerants mowing. Differs from Drummonds wild petunia because both the flowers and the plant are smaller. Good nectar
and larval food source for many butterflies. Cut back after each flush of blossoms to keep compact and blooming all summer.
BenefitUse Ornamental: Perennial
garden, Can be mowed, Shortgrass meadow Conspicuous Flowers:
Butterflies Larval Host:
Common Buckeye, Cuban Crescentspot, Fatima, Malachite, White Peacock butterfly Nectar Source:
Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)
is a larval host and/or nectar source for:
Mr. Smarty Plants says
Grasses and wildflowers for Houston meadow
February 28, 2008
I recently bought a house in a new subdivision just south of Houston -
as with most new developments, the area is devoid of nature for the
most part... I have planted many bird/butterfly/bee fr...
view the full question and answer
Sedges and ornamentals for shade in Bastrop County
June 20, 2007
I bought a home in Elgin, TX that was owned by an elderly woman. Most of
the lawn is shaded by elm or pecan trees. In the sunny areas, i got native
wildflowers to grow like lantana and coneflower,...
view the full question and answer
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:
Fredericksburg Nature Center
- Fredericksburg, TXLady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
- Austin, TXTohono Chul Park, Inc.
- Tucson, AZBrackenridge Field Laboratory
- Austin, TXNueces River Authority
- Uvalde, TXNPSOT - Austin Chapter
- Austin, TXNational Butterfly Center
- Mission, TXJacob's Well Natural Area
- Wimberley, TX
Wildflower Center Seed BankLBJWC-66
Collected 2006-08-23 in Travis County by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Bibref 766 - Dale Groom's Texas Gardening Guide
(2002) Groom, D.
Bibref 1186 - Field Guide to Moths of Eastern North America
(2005) Covell, C.V., Jr.
Bibref 1185 - Field Guide to Western Butterflies (Peterson Field Guides)
(1999) Opler, P.A. and A.B. Wright
Bibref 946 - Gardening with Prairie Plants: How to Create Beautiful Native Landscapes
(2002) Wasowski, Sally
Bibref 355 - Landscaping with Native Plants of Texas and the Southwest
(1991) Miller, G. O.
Bibref 841 - Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants
(2006) Burrell, C. C.
Bibref 318 - Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region
(2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski
Bibref 281 - Shinners & Mahler's Illustrated Flora of North Central Texas
(1999) Diggs, G. M.; B. L. Lipscomb; B. O'Kennon; W. F...
Bibref 248 - Texas Wildflowers: A Field Guide
(1984) Loughmiller, C. & L. Loughmiller
Bibref 328 - Wildflowers of Texas
(2003) Ajilvsgi, Geyata.
Bibref 286 - Wildflowers of the Texas Hill Country
(1989) Enquist, M.
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Recommended Species Lists
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Record Modified: 2009-02-19
Research By: TWC Staff, JSC