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

How to get rid of Japanese knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum)
July 28, 2008 - We have an enormous stand of japanese polygonum that we are trying to get rid of. What soil type is the most inhospitable to this aggressive and highly invasive species? Were thinking of planting so...
view the full question and answer

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

Desert Willow Roots from Lubbock, TX
September 18, 2014 - I have a very, very happy Desert Willow that has grown larger than we expected and is probably too close to the house. Do I need to worry about a cracked foundation or pipe problems? Thanks!
view the full question and answer

Invasive thistles in wildflower field from Dripping Springs TX
February 17, 2014 - How to get rid of "native" thistles.. I have a large natural field that used to grow a variety of wildflowers, but in 2011 and 2012 it was taken over by thistles. I'm sure they are "native" Texas...
view the full question and answer

Non-native mint invading flower beds in Kendallville IN
April 26, 2011 - A few years back we were given two sprouts of something referred to as peppermint tea. We planted in our flower bed and now it has taken over. It seems to start slow in the spring but doesn't take lo...
view the full question and answer

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