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Wild Petunia

Ruellia nudiflora

Other common name(s):

Violet Ruellia, Common Wild Petunia, Violet Wild Petunia, Hierba De La Calentura Acanthaceae

Family:

Acanthaceae (Acanthus Family)

Plant Ecoregion Distribution Map

Chihuahuan Deserts, Cross Timbers, East Central Texas Plains, Edwards Plateau, Gulf Coast Prairies and Marshes, Southern Texas Plains, Texas Blackland Prairies, Western Gulf Coastal Plain
Chihuahuan Basins and Playas, Low Mountains and Bajadas, Stockton Plateau
Eastern Cross Timbers, Grand Prairie, Limestone Cut Plain
Bastrop Lost Pines, Floodplains and Low Terraces2, San Antonio Prairie, Southern Post Oak Savanna
Balcones Canyonlands, Edwards Plateau Woodland
Coastal Sand Plain, Floodplains and Low Terraces4, Laguna Madre Barrier Island and Coastal Marshes, Lower Rio Grande Alluvial Floodplain, Lower Rio Grande Valley, Mid-Coast Barrier Islands and Coastal Marshes, Northern Humid Gulf Coastal Prairies, Southern Subhumid Gulf Coastal Prairies, Texas-Louisiana Coastal Marshes
Northern Nueces Alluvial Plains, Rio Grande Floodplain and Terraces, Semiarid Edwards Bajada, Texas-Tamaulipan Thornscrub
Floodplains and Low Terraces1, Northern Blackland Prairie, Southern Blackland Prairie
Southern Tertiary Uplands

Plant Characteristics

Growth Form

Herbaceous

Height

1
to
2
ft.

Spread

0.5
to
1
ft.

Leaf Retention

Deciduous

Lifespan

Perennial

Habitat and Care Requirements

Soil Type(s)

Sand, Moist, Dry

Light Requirement

Sun, Part Shade, Shade

Water Requirement

Low, Medium

Native Habitat

Woodland

Bloom and Attraction

Bloom Color

Purple

Bloom Season

Spring, Summer, Fall

Seasonal Interest

Nectar, Larval Host

Wildlife Benefit

Caterpillars, Butterflies

Maintenance

Cut back after each flush of blossoms for compact shape and continuous blooming or let seed for wildlife or to spread plants. Tolerates mowing. Propagation: Seed.

Comments

Blooms April-October. Easy to grow, spreads vigorously from seed. Nice touch in woodland gardens and walkways. Works well as a groundcover. Pollination: Butterflies. Larval Host: Buckeye, Common Wood Nymph. Cuban Crescentspot, Fatima, Malachite, White Peacock butterflies.

References

1) Griffith, Bryce, Omernick & Rodgers (2007). Ecoregions of Texas. 2) Miller, George O., Landscaping with Native Plants of Texas 2nd Ed., 2013, pg 53. 3) Wasowski and Wasowski, Native Texas Plants Landscaping Region by Region, 1991, pg. 206. 4) https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=RUNU. 5) https://portal.torcherbaria.org/portal/taxa/index.php?taxon=Ruellia+nudiflora&formsubmit=Search+Terms. 6) http://bonap.net/TDC/Image/Map?taxonType=Species&taxonId=87&locationType=County&mapType=Normal, 7) https://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=34383#null
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