Wild Petunia, Fringeleaf Wild Petunia, Hairy Ruellia, Low Wild Petunia, Prarie Petunia
Synonyms of Ruellia humilis (14) ) (Updated on 4-23-21 from Plants of the World Online): Dipteracanthus ciliosus var. parviflorus Nees, Gymnacanthus humilis (Nutt.) Oerst., Ruellia caroliniensis var. parviflora (Nees) S.F.Blake, Ruellia ciliosa var. humilis (Nutt.) Britton, Ruellia ciliosa var. longiflora A.Gray, Ruellia ciliosa var. parviflora (Nees) Britton, Ruellia humilis f. alba (Steyerm.) Fernald, Ruellia humilis var. calvescens Fernald, Ruellia humilis var. depauperata Tharp & F.A.Barkley, Ruellia humilis var. expansa Fernald, Ruellia humilis var. frondosa Fernald, Ruellia humilis f. grisea Fernald, Ruellia humilis var. longiflora (A.Gray) Fernald, Ruellia humilis var. typica Fernald
Ruellia humilis Nutt. is the correct and accepted scientific name for the Wild Petunia. It was named and described by Thomas Nuttall in Transactions of the American Philosophical Society in 1835.
The genus, Ruellia Plum. ex L. was described as such by Carl von Linnaeus in the second edition of Species Plantarum in 1753. He cited Charles Plumier in his descriptions and possibly named the genus.
Plants of the World by Kew lists 361 species in the Ruellia genus (as of 4-23-21 when I last updated this page). It is a member of the plant family Acanthaceae with 206 genera. Those numbers could change as updates are made.
The above distribution map for the Ruellia humilis is from the USDA Plants Database. The species is a U.S. native and may not have been introduced to other countries. The map on Plants of the World Online hasn’t been updated to include all states the species is found in. POWO uses maps provided by Flora of North America but they haven’t included the plant family Acanthaceae yet. POWO will be using data for the U.S. and Canada from USDA for famillies not included in FNA possibly by the end of 2021.
THERE ARE SEVERAL LINKS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE FOR FURTHER READING AND TO HELP WITH A BETTER POSITIVE ID.
I first noticed many Ruellia humilis growing in the ditch in front of the house when I moved back to the family farm in 2013. They are scattered throughout the north side of the main pasture/hayfield but not in large colonies. They just kind of grow as single plants. Ruellia humilis is a variable species as far as its hairiness, leaf type, and corolla size are concerned. Missouri Plants lists three species of Ruellia in Missouri but so far this species is the only one I have found.
I apologize for not writing descriptions at the moment, but I have A LOT of wildflower pages to make and publish before I start getting too busy. I update this site and add new pages over the winter but I didn’t get finished. SO, I decided to just make the page with photos and links to other sites for better plant ID. I will be taking more photos over the summer and posting but I will also be working on these pages as I have time.
I have enjoyed photographing and learning about the many wildflowers growing on the farm and other areas. My farm is in Windsor, Missouri in Pettis County (Henry County is across the street and Benton and Johnson aren’t far away). I have grown over 500 different plants and identified over 100 species of wildflowers (most have pages listed on the right side of the page). I am not an expert, botanist, or horticulturalist. I just like growing, photographing, and writing about my experience. I rely on several websites for ID and a few horticulturalists I contact if I cannot figure them out. Wildflowers can be somewhat variable from location to location, so sometimes it gets a bit confusing. If you see I have made an error, please let me know so I can correct what I have written.
I hope you found this page useful and be sure to check the links below for more information. They were written by experts and provide much more information. Some sites may not be up-to-date but they are always a work in progress. If you can, I would appreciate it if you would click on the “Like” below and leave a comment. It helps us bloggers stay motivated. You can also send an email to me at email@example.com. I would enjoy hearing from you especially if you notice something is a bit whacky.
FOR FURTHER READING:
PLANTS OF THE WORLD ONLINE (GENUS/SPECIES)
INTERNATIONAL PLANT NAMES INDEX (GENUS/SPECIES)
WORLD FLORA ONLINE (GENUS/SPECIES)
USDA PLANTS DATABASE
U.S. FOREST SERVICE
MISSOURI BOTANICAL GARDEN
KANSAS WILDFLOWERS AND GRASSES
KANSAS NATIVE PLANTS
LADY BIRD JOHNSON WILDFLOWER CENTER
FRIENDS OF THE WILDFLOWER GARDEN
MARYLAND BIODIVERSITY PROJECT
MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY
NOTE: The figures may not match on these websites. It depends on when and how they make updates and when their sources make updates (and if they update their sources or even read what they say). Some websites have hundreds and even many thousands of species to keep up with. Accepted scientific names change periodically and it can be hard to keep with as well. In my opinion, Plants of the World Online by Kew is the most reliable and up-to-date plant database and they make updates on a regular basis. I make updates at least once a year and when I write new pages or add new photos but I do get behind. We are all a work in progress. 🙂