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Plant Families / Ruellia


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Ruellia

Ruellia can be perennials or shrubs, with flaring, bell-shaped flowers and often attractive foliage. Native from tropical America, Africa, and Asia, they are best used in informal areas of the garden. Beyond their hardiness range, they are commonly grown in greenhouses.

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Ruellia brittoniana (Mexican Petunia)

Ruellia brittoniana (Mexican Petunia) is a shrubby perennial boasting a profusion of petunia-like, vibrant lavender-blue flowers, 2 in. across (5 cm), from midsummer to fall. Borne solitary or in clusters at the tips of purplish stems, they rise above the foliage of lance-shaped, glossy green leaves. Very showy, they are attractive to butterflies, bees and other pollinators.

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Ruellia elegans (Red Ruellia)

Ruellia elegans (Red Ruellia) is a showy annual boasting a profusion of bright scarlet trumpet shaped flowers, 2 in. across (5 cm) on 6-8 in. wand-like stems (15-20 cm). Blooming for months from late spring until frost, they are held upright above a compact mound of soft green, semi-fuzzy foliage. They attract butterflies and hummingbirds.

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Ruellia humilis (Wild Petunia)

A widespread North American native, Ruellia humilis (Wild Petunia) is a herbaceous perennial of upright to somewhat sprawling habit boasting a profusion of tubular, bell-shaped, petunia-like, lavender to purple flowers, 3 in. long (7 cm). Blooming for months from late spring to fall, the blossoms are borne singly or in clusters in the upper leaf axils.

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Ruellia squarrosa (Water Bluebell)

Ruellia squarrosa (Water Bluebell) is a low-growing, frost tender perennial with petunia-like, crepe-paper, violet-blue flowers in summer and ruffled, willowy, dark purplish-green leaves. Favored by water gardeners, it is often grown as an aquatic plant in water gardens or small ponds. It also does fine in a rather dry garden and can be grown as a groundcover.

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