Common name: Red ruellia, Brazilian petunia
Botanical name: Ruellia elegans Family: Acanthaceae (Barleria family)
This plant is native to Brazil. It has bright red leaning toward scarlet (the
"Rio Red" variety) trumpet shaped five-petaled 1 to 2 inch flowers which
resemble salvia greggi flowers in shape. They appear on 6 to 8 inch wand-like
stems. The upper petals tend to flare out and back, while the lower one curls
out and downward, a landing pad that leads pollinators to its small white heart.
The blooms, loved by butterflies and hummingbirds, appear
from May until frost. It will take light frosts and dies back at about 28
degrees. It forms a 12 inch high by 24 inch in
diameter mound of soft green, semi-fuzzy foliage.