Friday, October 17, 2014

Hairy Wild Petunia

Hairy Wild Petunia
Ruellia humilis
(roo-EL-ee-uh) (HEW-mil-is)

This little flower began showing up in a rock garden I take care of and it took awhile for me to identify it. There are several species of this flower that grow in this area but I think it is identified correctly here. It has become a happy “accident” in the garden growing in the cracks of the rock borders and brick walks. It has also provided some color under the dwarf evergreen population. It’s short stature makes skirts around the plants. Since it is a wildflower that often grows in fields and rough areas it has found a home and been a good garden citizen with only the occasional misplaced seedling needing to be pulled out. This plant can grow in dry conditions and part shade, which is good since the rock garden has it’s own irrigation cycle that is much less than the rest of the gardens at the house.

Not really related closely to the petunias (Petunia) that we grow as annuals they do share some of the same botanical characteristics and ancestors. They are just not as long or showy blooming.

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