Fringeleaf Wild Petunia   
Foto info
Fringeleaf Wild Petunia
P Introduced Herb ovate Photo: S. Kasim
Common name: Fringeleaf Wild Petunia, Wild Petunia, Hairy Wild Petunia
Botanical name: Ruellia humilis    Family: Acanthaceae (Acanthus family)
Synonyms: Ruellia humilis var. humilis

Fringeleaf Wild Petunia is a herbaceous perennial plant, about 1 ft tall, branching occasionally. The stems are light green and covered with white hairs. The oppositely arranged leaves are up to 6 cm long and 2.5 cm wide, and broadly lanceshaped, deltoid, or ovate in form. They are light green to green, with smooth margins, and are covered with white hairs on both sides, with hairy leaf-stalks. The light lavender or light purple flowers are funnel-shaped, with 5 flared lobes, and are 3.5-6 cm long. There are usually fine purple lines towards the center of the flower that function as nectar guides to visiting insects. There is no noticeable fragrance. A flower typically opens during the morning and falls off the plant by evening. The root system is fibrous. The dark seeds are fairly large and fall to the ground not far from the mother plant. Fringeleaf Wild Petunia is native to north America, cultivated in India.

Identification credit: S. Kasim Photographed in Puzhal, Chennai, Tamil Nadu.

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