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Wild Petunia Ruellia caroliniensis

The range distribution maps for the Wild Petunia are from the Plants Database of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).


The Wild Petunia is a native perennial found in the southeastern United States including throughout most of Florida.  It grows in dry to moist soils and is frequently found in open woodlands, forest margins, and disturbed sites.  It is one of the first wild flowers to bloom in spring.

This plant can grow to a height of 15 inches.  It has a hairy upright stem to which oval-shaped leaves with short stalks are oppositely attached.  The flowers are usually bluish-purple, but white and pink flowers are occasionally seen.  The flowers are trumpet-shaped and about 1-inch wide. The blooms are short-lived, only last about a day.  However, blooms can occur from spring through fall.

Many pollinators are attracted to this plant and it serves as a host for the Common Buckeye and White Peacock butterflies.  It is frequently seen in native plant gardens.

The photos on this page were taken in the Babcock-Webb WMA during the last week in June, 2017.