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Carolina Wild-petunia Ruellia caroliniensis

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
roo-EL-ee-uh kair-oh-lin-ee-EN-sis
Description

Ruellia caroliniensis, or Wild-petunia, is very common in North Carolina, found in lawns and woodlands. This native wildflower is so common that,  despite its beauty, it is sometimes considered a lawn weed. This unbranched perennial can grow to 2 to 3 feet tall. Its leaves are light green and tend to have a crowded appearance. Its purple flowers bloom in spring, summer, and fall. The unstalked flowers are in axillary clusters of three to four and usually only one or two are open on any given day. Even though wild petunia's flower only last for a day, its long flowering period more than compensates.  It seeds readily.

Habitat: Dry to moist forests and woodlands

Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#purple#showy flowers#perennial#violet#wildlife plant#wildflower garden#larval host plant#food source summer#food source fall#Coastal OBL#food source herbage#sandy soils tolerant#bird friendly#food source hard-mast fruit#FACU Piedmont Mountains#FACU Coastal
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#purple#showy flowers#perennial#violet#wildlife plant#wildflower garden#larval host plant#food source summer#food source fall#Coastal OBL#food source herbage#sandy soils tolerant#bird friendly#food source hard-mast fruit#FACU Piedmont Mountains#FACU Coastal
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Ruellia
    Species:
    caroliniensis
    Family:
    Acanthaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Central and Eastern United States
    Wildlife Value:
    Host plant for some species of butterfly larva, food source for songbirds.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 0 ft. 6 in. - 1 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Perennial
    Wildflower
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Maintenance:
    Low
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    Less than 12 inches
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
  • Fruit:
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Fruit Description:
    Hard mast-fruit June-October
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Blue
    Purple/Lavender
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Long Bloom Season
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Trumpet
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Description:
    Unstalked flowers in axillary clusters of three to four from May-September. Usually only one or two of the light purple flowers are open on any given day. The flowers have a slender corolla tube and five, petal-like lobes. Seeds are borne on hooked projections.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Ovate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Description:
    Rich green, oval leaves crowded together on stem.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Surface:
    Hairy (pubescent)
    Stem Description:
    Violet, trumpet-shaped flowers on short hairy stems from leaf axils.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Songbirds