Desert Petunia, Florida Bluebells, Mexican Petunia, Mexican Blue Bells 'Purple Fountain'

Ruellia tweediana

Family: Acanthaceae (ah-kanth-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Ruellia (roo-EL-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: tweediana (twee-dee-AH-nuh) (Info)
Cultivar: Purple Fountain
Synonym:Ruellia brittoniana


Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


15-18 in. (38-45 cm)


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)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun



Bloom Color:


Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Blooms repeatedly



Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

From herbaceous stem cuttings

Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Seed Collecting:

N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed


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

Surprise, Arizona

Altamonte Springs, Florida

Lakeland, Florida

Greenville, Indiana

Derby, Kansas

Slidell, Louisiana

Lancaster, South Carolina

Alice, Texas

Beaumont, Texas

Deer Park, Texas

San Antonio, Texas

Zapata, Texas

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Nov 26, 2005, LeBug from Greenville, IN (Zone 6a) wrote:

I esp. love the mound, I have pink, white, and purple, along with the taller purple and pink fountain. The only thing with the mounds is the flowers drive me crazy because they stick to the foliage, I go around trying to unglue them all the time lol


On Aug 21, 2004, cheryldawn from Lakeland, FL wrote:

I love my Mexican Petunias. Mine are the non invasive type, not the more wild invasive variety. Mine have stems resembling hardwood bamboo type canes. They have a tropical look. Can be planted as a tropical type hedge about 12" apart.. Mine have gotten as tall as about 24". They might have gotten a little taller but I take cuttings from them often, so they stay at around 24 " or less. Very attractive foliage. They're evergreens here in Florida. They bloom profusely from spring till early fall. Very hardy, drought tolerant. Not much except overwatering seems to bother them. They can be easily propagated from cuttings as small as 2".
Flowers are delicate looking, but hardy. They last a day.
Have had no pests bother mine so far. We just had a hurricane and although it too... read more