Thursday, October 1, 2009

reliable ruellia

Now that we've received some much-needed rain, my ruellia (Mexican petunia) is particularly perky and bloomy, but it's also been a real trooper during our two-year drought. I gave it very little supplemental water this summer and it still managed to bloom some.

This native can be invasive but is really easy to thin. Some people think it looks too "weedy", but I appreciate its colorful blooms and hardiness. I haven't figured out all the varieties yet, but I seem to have three right now. (Sometimes I also have the dwarf 'Katie' ruellia but not today.)

tall-ish white version's leaves are slightly darker green and a curvier shape than both my purples

this version stays shorter and in a clustered mound with narrower leaves than the taller version below


Meredith said...

Very pretty! It sure looks great in a mass. It's on my list to add to the garden sometime.

Thanks for posting on my horseherb thread. Sometime you should share some pictures of your horseherb! I'd love to see more images in a yard setting.

Lancashire rose said...

I will have to check out this ruellia. I have a low growing one which can be quite a pain. I prefer the bush form.

TexasDeb said...

I second your thumbs up! You make several good points. There's hardly anything easier to care for that looks much better than ruellia after this summer's heat and drought. I just pull it out wherever I don't want it.

Iris said...

Meredith--It really is a nice, hardy native! Thanks for the horseherb suggestion. I need to do some more weeding this week, then I'll do a post showing my horseherb.

Jenny--I'm not too crazy about that dwarf version, either. I'd be happy to give you some of my tall ruellia. Email if you're interested.

Deb--Thanks! I agree that it's really easy to pull out if it gets too carried away.

The Curious Holts said...

I just love it too! So glad to see someone singing it's praises. I was thinking of blogging about today myself. I got some black bamboo from a neighbor and put it in a big stock tank. I'm planning to move some of my purple ruellia over by it. I think the dark cane of the bamboo will look wonderful with the ruellia stem that almost matches it.

Iris said...

Mama Holt--I think the dark bamboo and ruellia sounds like a great combo! Looking forward to seeing it sometime on your blog.

Annie in Austin said...

The ruellia looks good in your photos, Iris - especially the white one. But I think that's partly because it has the structure of your beautiful house behind it and because it's planted in a mass.

In other people's yards tall Ruellia does sometimes look like a weedy mess, especially if the bottom leaves start dying off, leaving live tops on bare stalks. But yours looks happy!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Iris said...

Thanks, Annie! I think you're right that the ruellia probably works pretty well here because the colors work with the house color. (I do end up pulling some of it out.)

J.C. said...

Beautiful Ruellia!! Recently I have posted a Ruellia photo on my gardening blog. I thought it was some wild flowers. Another kind blogger informed me of the name of this beautiful bloom.