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Fringe-leaf Ruellia

Photo by David Welfelt

Common Name: Fringe-leaf Ruellia

Scientific Name: Ruellia humilis

Family: Acanthus

Longevity: Perennial

Height: 6 - 12 inches

Bloom Period: June, July


Description: Plants are covered with long, spreading hairs. Ovate leaves are opposite on slender, sprawling or ascending stems. Large, lavender, funnel-shaped flowers are usually solitary in the leaf axils.

Comments: The flowers of Fringe-leaf Ruellia are large and showy, but plants can be overlooked in dense prairie vegetation. Flowers tend to drop off easily when the plant is handled. Another name for this plant is “wild petunia” because of its resemblance to the garden plants. Plants are palatable to livestock. Caterpillars of the buckeye butterfly feed on the foliage. Plants are easily grown from seed. Fringe-leaf Ruellia can withstand extreme drought. It is found in the eastern half of Kansas and is common on upland prairies.