Ruellia nudiflora – Violet Wild Petunia

Ruellia nudiflora - Violet Wild Petunia, Ruellia

Ruellia nudiflora - Violet Wild Petunia, Ruellia

Plant Name

Scientific Name: Ruellia nudiflora

Common Names: Violet Wild Petunia, Ruellia

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial

Growth Habit: Subshrub, Herb/Forb

Arizona Native Status: Native

Habitat: Riparian. This attractive wildflower grows in moist, shaded canyons, under trees along washes, and in mesquite bosques in the desert.

Flower Color: Violet to light purple

Flowering Season: Spring (late), Summer, Fall. It blooms anytime from May to October, but the peak bloom period is after the summer monsoon rains have begun.

Height: To 2 feet (61 cm) tall

Description: The flowers are in loose terminal panicles. The individual flowers are tubular, up to 2 1/2 inches (6.4 cm) long, and have 5 ruffled, dark purple-streaked lobes (2 upper lobes and 3 lower lobes). The flowers are followed by woody seed capsules that are explosively dehiscent when mature. Rainfall can cause the dry seed capsules to explode and propel the small seeds well away from the parent plant. The leaves are green, opposite, broadly oval to lance-shaped, petiolate, and up to 5 inches (13 cm) long. The stems are slender and erect.


Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass: Asteridae
Order: Scrophulariales
Family: Acanthaceae – Acanthus family
Genus: Ruellia L. – wild petunia
Species: Ruellia nudiflora (Engelm. & A. Gray) Urb. – violet wild petunia

More About This Plant

Arizona County Distribution Map