Wild Petunia, Violet Ruellia, Longneck Ruellia

Ruellia nudiflora

Family: Acanthaceae (ah-kanth-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Ruellia (roo-EL-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: nudiflora (noo-dee-FLOR-uh) (Info)
Synonym:Ruellia nudiflora var. nudiflora
Synonym:Dipteracanthus nudiflorus
Synonym:Ruellia nudiflora var. glabrata
Synonym:Ruellia nudiflora var. hispidula
Synonym:Ruellia tuberosa



Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


6-9 in. (15-22 cm)

9-12 in. (22-30 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



Bloom Color:


Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall




This plant is resistant to deer


Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


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

Zephyrhills, Florida

Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts

Tulsa, Oklahoma

Arlington, Texas

Austin, Texas (3 reports)

Center, Texas

Dallas, Texas (2 reports)

Desoto, Texas

Ennis, Texas

Euless, Texas

Fabens, Texas

Houston, Texas

Livingston, Texas

Longview, Texas

Magnolia, Texas

New Caney, Texas

Richmond, Texas

San Antonio, Texas

Victoria, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jul 1, 2016, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

Some of the photos clearly show Ruellia simplex, a different species. I suspect that some of the comments below are also about R. simplex and not R. nudiflora.

This species has wide, fuzzy gray-green leaves and gets 1-2' tall. Flowers are trumpet-shaped and pastel lavender.

Begins blooming here (Boston Z6a) at the beginning of July. Cutting back encourages rebloom. Self-sows fairly aggressively.

Native to AZ, TX, LA, MS, and AL.


On Aug 25, 2015, petuniatoad from Dallas, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

I keep it under control by simply pulling it up (not that easy to do) or cutting back the foliage before it blooms.
But I do love the purple blooms and they look good with my pentas and salvia coccinea reds. Dallas heat in summer doesn't bother it.


On Jul 12, 2014, TexasDollie from Dewey, AZ (Zone 7a) wrote:

Not sure if I've got the right plant or not...mine's not invasive. It is a native--I dug up the first one in a rent-house lawn. It's been with me through three moves, and seems to thrive without being the slightest bit invasive. Doesn't look like the other ruellias I've seen, though.


On May 29, 2013, nanwicker from North Myrtle Beach, SC wrote:

extremely invasive. I planted one then spent years weeding them out of everywhere and still would be but I moved. Perhaps roundup might have killed it but I didn't want to use it. It should really be on an invasive species list in SC.


On Aug 13, 2011, TheOldME from San Antonio, TX wrote:

This plant is found mostly in the cracks and crevices around the patio and walkways. It's a nice plant - just appears in inconvenient places. I was spraying some Roundup on some grass and sprayed some on a few of the wild petunias. In a few seconds I started hearing some very noticeable snapping or popping sounds. At first I thought it was some sort of snapping bug or grasshoppers that the spray had irritated. Something was even hitting me and it was ricocheting off of things nearby. When I looked closely I found that the seed pods on this plant were popping open and ejecting a seed. They were traveling several feet. I assume that the moisture in the spray must have made the plant react as if to rain and thus spread its seeds. I have not seen this interesting feature reported in m... read more


On Jun 22, 2010, mermaidKT from Austin, TX wrote:

our backyard is covered in this flower. thought it was a weed at first and tried to pull a bunch, but then one bloomed :) I have since been trying to spread them around in the places I want them to be. I'm so happy they volunteered in our yard.


On Jul 11, 2009, jameso from Longview, TX wrote:

This plant is a host plant for the buckeye buttrfly.


On Jun 7, 2008, walthwilson from Ennis, TX wrote:

I have my Ruellia in a planter on my patio. It is at least 3 ft. tall. It blooms each morning before sun-up and then the
blooms fall off around mid-afternoon, then the process is
repeated the next morning. Is this normal? I love the plant.
I look forward each morning to see how many blooms I have.


On May 22, 2006, frostweed from Josephine, Arlington, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Ruellia nudiflora, Wild petunia is a lovely perennialTexas native wildflower that is almost evergreen, and will bloom in sun or light shade. Mine volunteered in my yard and is doing very well.