- Petunia-like flowers from spring to frost.
- Native to Mexico and the southwestern U.S.
- Can tolerate both drought and flooding once established.
- Self-sows aggressively if conditions are right.
Ruellia is quite adaptable to soil types and moisture levels but will produce the most flowers in a good garden soil with average moisture. Makes an excellent addition to mixed containers or in the garden and unlike other Mexican Petunias it won’t take over your garden. Moderately drought tolerant once well established. In frost free zones this tough little perennial can become shrub-like in the northern parts of its hardiness range it may freeze to the ground but will return in spring.
Ruellia brittoniana or simplex
Mexican Petunia Purple Showers – This three-foot-tall evergreen shrub bears many tubular, blue or purple, petunia-like flowers on dark stems over a long period. Each flower lasts for just one day. It is a fast grower that may self-seed aggressively. Use in a border, container, or at waterside. Can be grown as an annual in cooler areas.
Katie Dwarf – Sports large purple, pink and white blooms from summer to frost. An excellent ground cover that tolerates heat and is very pest resistant. Sword-shaped leaves measure 5 inches long, 1/2 wide. Leaves are rich green in color with a metallic tinge. About 6 inches in height, it works nicely in an informal front–of–the–border grouping or as a groundcover in narrow spaces.
Common Names: Britton’s Wild Petunia, Desert Petunia, Mexican Petunia, Mexican Bluebell.
Mexican petunia is not recommended for human or animal consumption.