Classification Hierarchy
Kingdom Plantae
Subkingdom Tracheophyta
Superdivision Spermatophyta
Division Magnoliophyta
Class Magnoliopsida
Subclass Asteridae
Order Scrophulariales
Family Acanthaceae
Genus Ruellia
Species Ruellia humilis
fringed petunia

Date: July 26, 2010. Location: Rochester cemetery (map)

BONAP, FNA, ITIS, USDA, VPI

Scientific Name: Ruellia humilis (named in honor of French herbalist Jean Ruelle; humilis—low lying)

Common Name: fringeleaf wild petunia, hairy wild petunia

Origin: Native

Notes: Only two species of Ruellia occur in Iowa; the most abundant is R. humilis (shown here). More rarely encountered, and only in wet environments in S.E. IA is R. strepens. The younger internodes of R. humilis are notably hairy while those of R. strepens are much less so.

Additional references: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15.

Field Marks for Identification:

Flowers: July; light blue/lavender often with purple markings on the corolla oposite the position of the anthers and stigma (it has been suggested that these markings direct the path of insects to maximize pollination).

Leaves: sessile, blades oblong to ovate, margins entire, veins and margins villous to hirsute.

Glossaries of botanical terms: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.

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