Natural Area Weeds: Mexican Petunia (Ruellia simplex)
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Ruellia tweediana
Mexican petunia
invasive plants
Mexican bluebell

How to Cite

Wilson, Sandra, Adrienne Burkhead, Carrie Adams, Rosanna Freyre, Alison Fox, and Randall Stocker. 2020. “Natural Area Weeds: Mexican Petunia (Ruellia Simplex)”. EDIS 2020 (6).


Minor Revision.

Ruellia simplex (Mexican bluebell, Mexican petunia, or Britton's wild petunia) is an herbaceous perennial (USDA Hardiness Zone 8–11) in the family Acanthaceae. Five species of Ruellia are native to Florida, and three non-native species are listed as naturalized in the state, including R. simplex (Wunderlin et al. 2019). There has been some confusion about the name of this species, commonly referred to as Ruellia brittoniana, Ruellia coerulea, Ruellia tweediana, orRuellia malacosperma (USDA NRCS 2019; Wunderlin et al. 2019). Ruellia simplex C. Wright was the name used when this species was first described in Cuba in 1870; therefore, it has taxonomic priority (Ezcurra and Daniel 2007). This name is now widely used in the horticultural trade and amongst state agencies and will therefore be used in this publication.
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