Wildflower alert

by Eleanor Dietrich

Wild Petunia

There are several different species of Wild Petunia (Ruellia) that grow in the panhandle area of north Florida, and the most common ones have a lovely blueish purple flower. The flowers on each species look very similar, the differences are in the characteristics of the plant and leaves. One species (Ruellia caroliniensis) is common throughout Florida and typically grows in moist to dry woodlands. It reseeds easily and can form large stands of the flower. It blooms from spring through fall, with new flowers appearing each day.