Ruellia humilis

Species Native to Missouri
Common Name: wild petunia 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Acanthaceae
Native Range: Eastern and central United States
Zone: 4 to 8
Height: 1.50 to 2.00 feet
Spread: 1.50 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to October
Bloom Description: Lavender/lilac-blue
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Rain Garden
Flower: Showy
Attracts: Butterflies
Tolerate: Drought, Dry Soil, Shallow-Rocky Soil


Grow in average, dry to medium moisture, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Ruellia humilis, commonly called wild petunia, is a Missouri native perennial which occurs in dryish soils in open woods, glades, prairies and fields throughout the State except for the far southeastern lowlands. Typically grows to 2' tall. Features tubular, bell-shaped, petunia-like flowers (to 3" long), each with five shallow rounded lobes. May to October bloom period. Lavender to lilac flowers appear singly or in clusters in the upper leaf axils. Oblong to lanceolate, olive green leaves to 4" long. Leaves and stems are hairy.

Genus name honors Jean de la Ruelle (1474-1537), French herbalist and physician to Francois I (1494-1547) who was king of France from 1515 until his death in 1547.

Specific epithet means low-growing or dwarfish.


No serious insect or disease problems.


Borders, rock gardens, native plant gardens, wild gardens or prairies.