Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Sunday - July 06, 2014

From: Georgetown, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Invasive Plants, Problem Plants
Title: Is Ruellia aggressive?
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Is Ruellia aggressive?

ANSWER:

There are 5 native species of Ruellia in the Central Texas area.  All of these occur in or adjacent to Williamson County.   None of these could be said to be aggressive or invasive.  These 5 species are:

Ruellia drummondiana (Drummond's ruellia)  Here are more photos and information from the School of Biological Sciences, University of Texas at Austin.

Ruellia humilis (Fringeleaf wild petunia)  Here is more information from Missouri Botanical Garden.

Ruellia metziae (White ruellia)  Here is more information from BackyardNature.

Ruellia nudiflora (Violet ruellia)  Here is more information from the Image Archive of Central Texas Plants and Southeastern Arizona Wildflowers.

Ruellia occidentalis (Western wild petunia)

However, the non-native Mexican species, Ruellia caerulea [synonyms=R. brittoniana, R. simplex, R. simplex] (Britton's petunia) is on the Texas Invasives list and the University of Florida's Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants list and is definitely aggressive.  Its seed dispersal mechanism is one reason that it is able to invade new areas so easily—the seed capsule explodes and the seeds can fly long distances, as far as 30 feet.  Ruellia caearulea is the petunia most likely to be sold in large commercial nurseries.

 

From the Image Gallery


Violet ruellia
Ruellia nudiflora

Prairie petunia
Ruellia humilis

White ruellia
Ruellia metziae

Violet ruellia
Ruellia nudiflora

Western wild petunia
Ruellia occidentalis

More Problem Plants Questions

Problem with Chinese Pistache tree
September 01, 2014 - We have a gorgeous Chinese Pistache in our yard, about 25 feet tall. We bought it for its gorgeous fall color. The problem is that it has never turned color for us. All the other pistaches in the neig...
view the full question and answer

Possible allelopathic properties of Prosopis glandulosa (Honey mesquite)
October 02, 2015 - I want to plant a coral honeysuckle at the base of a mesquite tree. Anything in the mesquite that would inhibit the honeysuckle from growing?
view the full question and answer

Plant identification of vine in Ohio
September 21, 2010 - I have a vine in my forest that grows up trees, that could eventually pull them over. It has roundleaves and prickers on the stem. What is this vine so I can research it?
view the full question and answer

Eliminating ragweed in Sacramento CA
May 16, 2012 - Rag weed. How to be rid of it! My wife and lots of others that live in this part of Sacramento suffer greatly.
view the full question and answer

Plants to replace Phragmites australis (Common reed) in Cedar Ridge Preserve
February 25, 2015 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I live in the DFW area and volunteer at a preserve (Cedar Ridge). We are constantly battling the common reed, Phragmites australis, around the pond. I am wondering what shou...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.