Wild Petunia

Ruellia nudiflora

Violet Ruellia, Longneck Ruellia

About This Plant

Wild petunia is an herbaceous perennial with purple trumpet flowers in summer. The 2″ flowers last for a day, opening at dawn and dropping by afternoon. Exploding seed capsules propel the seeds out from the parent plant. Often found growing with lawn grasses, it reseeds readily and can withstand mowing. In fact it’s a good selection for a rain garden or native woodland. Although the flowers are similar, Wild Petunia shares nothing but a name with the potted petunias used as bedding plants. The invasive Mexican petunia is a related species, but the leaf shape is different.

Origins: U.S. Gulf Coast, west to Arizona, and south through Central America


None needed; cut back after each flush of blooms for a tidier plant. It can be evergreen depending on conditions, but it goes dormant after a strong freeze.

Purple trumpet flowers, and an alternative to non-native ruellias in rain gardens.

Min. Height: 1'

Max Height: 2 feet'

Min. Width: 1'

Max Width: 2 feet'

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