The Q&A Archives: Mexican Petunia

Question: I received a baby plant from a friend; she didn't know what it was, and neither did I. I saw a gardening show a few days ago and my "mystery plant" was on there. He called it a Mexican Petunia. I can find nothing in any of my reference books and I want to learn more about it. Does it have other names? Can you send me some info on it? I love it, it's pretty and it's taking over the empty spots in my garden, but I'm concerned about compatability with some of my exotics (i.e. Gardenia, White Bird of Paradise, etc.). Thank you!!

Answer: Commonly called the Mexican Petunia, Ruellia brittonia is an evergreen shrub that grows in full sun or light shade. Native to Mexico, it is now naturalized in Florida. It grows to 3 feet, with narrow leaves and 2-inch blue flowers. 'Katie' is a dwarf cultivar. The plant prefers a well-drained soil rich in organic matter.

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