Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Hairy Wild Petunia

I'm a Little Petunia in a Petunia Patch!

Wild Hairy Petunia
Ruellia humilis

Acanthus family (Acanthaceae)

The light lavender or light purple flowers are funnel-shaped, with 5 flaredlobes, and range in length from 1½-2½". There are usually fine purple lines towards the center of the corolla that function as nectar guides to visitinginsects. There is no noticeable floral scent. A flower typically opens duringthe morning and falls off the plant by evening. The overall appearance of HairyWild Petunia resembles cultivated petunias, but they are members of differentplant families. The blooming period occurs from early summer to late summer, and lasts about 2 months. The root system is fibrous. The dark seeds are fairlylarge and fall to the ground not far from the mother plant.


Note: As mentioned, I picked up several flowers later in the day to examine them, and they fell right of the stem, leaving the purple trumpet bloom in a single piece (on the ground) and the pistil and stamen parts still sticking from the stem. I put the nectar to my tongue and found it less sweat than honeysuckle, but still a treat.

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