Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Carolina Wild Petunia
Ruellia caroliniensis

Family: Acanthaceae (ah-kanth-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Ruellia (roo-EL-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: caroliniensis (kair-oh-lin-ee-EN-sis) (Info)

Synonym:Ruellia caroliniana

2 vendors have this plant for sale.

9 members have or want this plant for trade.


6-12 in. (15-30 cm)
12-18 in. (30-45 cm)
18-24 in. (45-60 cm)
24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

6-9 in. (15-22 cm)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade
Light Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall


Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Soil pH requirements:
7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

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By Floridian
Thumbnail #1 of Ruellia caroliniensis by Floridian

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There are a total of 10 photos.
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3 positives
No neutrals
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Negative sueroderus On Jun 13, 2011, sueroderus from Bluffton, SC wrote:

I am always looking to add native plants and this one does have a lovely lavender flower. It would be great in a wildflower garden, but not having that, I have found the plant to seed too freely in my zone 8b garden. Even the very young seedlings are very difficult to pull out and I am still finding them 3 years after taking out the original plant.

Positive DaveBerk On Mar 28, 2004, DaveBerk from Houston, TX wrote:

This is one of my favorite plants for southeast Texas gardens. First: There are two types : one grows to about a foot and then branches & makes flowers - not desirable; and the other begins branching from the first node out of the ground so it ends up looking like a little Christmas tree with flowers. A friend and I planted one in her front yard and it spread, but not obnoxiously. Now it grows from full Texas sun to dappled shade and blooms beautifully in all situations. It's lavender flowers provide a sort of unifying theme to the garden. We love it.

Positive ButterflyGardnr On Jan 9, 2003, ButterflyGardnr from Orlando, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

This is a wonderful little native plant that is useful as a border plant. It will reseed itself everywhere and is very drought tolerant. It will withstand mowing in the yard if you allow it to naturalize in the lawn. It blooms from early spring through late summer and into early fall in central Florida. The flowers usually last only one day and are easily blown off by strong winds, but the flowers are abundant.

Positive JoanneAW On Jul 5, 2002, JoanneAW wrote:

A ground cover for shaded areas.

Grows well in containers in bright shade. Needs to be brought indoors during the winter months and placed in a window with bright light. Does not need to be kept moist.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Birmingham, Alabama
Bartow, Florida
Deland, Florida
Hollywood, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida
New Port Richey, Florida
Oviedo, Florida
Pompano Beach, Florida
Sarasota, Florida
Taylorsville, Kentucky
Raleigh, North Carolina
Selma, North Carolina
Conway, South Carolina
Okatie, South Carolina
Pickens, South Carolina
Seabrook, South Carolina
Bedford, Texas
Houston, Texas
Shepherd, Texas

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