Ruellia Species, Carolina Wild Petunia, Low Wild Petunia, Small Flowered Ruellia

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



Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade

Light Shade




Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


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 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

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)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:



Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:


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


This plant is said to grow outdoors 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

Morganton, North Carolina

Raleigh, North Carolina

Selma, North Carolina

Waxhaw, North Carolina

Conway, South Carolina

Okatie, South Carolina

Pickens, South Carolina

Seabrook, South Carolina

Bedford, Texas

Houston, Texas

Shepherd, Texas

Chester, Virginia

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jun 14, 2017, LynnTP from Morganton, NC wrote:

This plant just showed up in the front yard after we tilled this Spring. My husband had broadcast some wildflower seeds across the driveway and we did have some heavy rain shortly after so it may have migrated. Absolutely beautiful. Would not mind a yard full!


On Jun 13, 2011, sueroderus from Bluffton, SC (Zone 8b) 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.


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.


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.


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.