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Thickleaf wild petunia
Ruellia succulenta

Copyright by: Keith A. Bradley

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 and occasionally by native plant nurseries.

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.

Plant Map Map of select IRC data from peninsular Florida.

 Map of suggested ZIP codes from South Florida north to southern Brevard, Osceola, Polk, and Pasco counties.

 Map of ZIP codes with habitat recommendations from the Monroe County Keys north to Martin and Charlotte counties.

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 introduced malachite (Siproeta stelenes) butterflies.

Horticultural Notes: Can be grown from seeds, cuttings and divisions.

References: Hammer 2004

Comments: The leaves are sometimes reddish purple. It will spread from seed in the garden, but is not aggressive.

Copyright by: Keith A. Bradley

Copyright by: James Johnson, 2014
In habitat, Everglades National Park, Florida

Copyright by: George D. Gann, 2013
In habitat, Miami-Dade County, Florida

Copyright by: Keith A. Bradley

Copyright by: Roger L. Hammer

Copyright by: Keith A. Bradley

Copyright by: James Johnson, 2014
In habitat, Everglades National Park, Florida

Other data on Ruellia succulenta available from:

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