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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.

Map of select IRC data from peninsular Florida.

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.

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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