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Thickleaf wild petunia
Ruellia succulenta
Acanthaceae


General Landscape Uses:

Wildflower and rock gardens.

Ecological Restoration Notes:

It can be used as one of many understory herbs in pine rocklands.
Availability:
Grown by enthusiasts.
Description:
Small herbaceous wildflower.
Dimensions:
About 4-8 inches in height. Spreading or erect, but often as broad as tall.
Growth Rate:
Moderate.
Range:
Endemic from the Monroe County Keys north to Miami-Dade and Collier counties, and very rare or extirpated in Broward, Lee and Charlotte counties. Common in the pine rocklands of Miami-Dade County. In the Monroe County Keys, disjunct from Miami-Dade County to the pine rocklands of Big Pine Key. In Broward County, recorded only from Hillsboro Pineland Natural Area.
Habitats:
Pinelands.
Soils:
Moist, well-drained limestone or sandy soils, without humus.
Nutritional Requirements:
Low; it grows in nutrient poor soils.
Salt Water Tolerance:
Low; does not tolerate long-term flooding by salt or brackish water.
Salt Wind Tolerance:
Low; salt wind may burn the leaves.
Drought Tolerance:
High; does not require any supplemental water once established.
Light Requirements:
Full sun.
Flower Color:
Blue or rarely pink.
Flower Characteristics:
Showy, 1 to 1 1/2" wide.
Flowering Season:
All year.
Fruit:
Inconspicuous green capsule.
Wildlife and Ecology:
Provides food for birds. Possible larval host plant for the common buckeye (Junonia coenia) and the introduced malachite (Siproeta stelenes) butterflies.
Horticultural Notes:
Can be grown from seeds, cuttings and divisions.
Comments:
The leaves are sometimes reddish purple. It will spread from seed in the garden, but is not aggressive.


 


George D. Gann
in habitat, Miami-Dade County, Florida, 2013
Keith A. Bradley
Keith A. Bradley
Roger L. Hammer
Keith A. Bradley