Guest Blog post by Rachel Shaw
Wild Petunia (Ruellia humilis) is a charming and tough native blooming now in my yard. The delicate pale purple flowers last only about a day, but are constantly replenished. Wild Petunia, like many common names, is a bit misleading; they are no relative of cultivated petunias, though the flowers do have some similarity in appearance.
Like half the plants in my front yard, my Ruellia were dug up on short notice this spring to be transplanted back following replacement of a broken sewer line. The Ruellia took this disruption in stride. They weren’t fussy about the poor quality clay soil brought up by the dig, and didn’t seem to need much in the way of supplemental water following transplant.
Previously they had coexisted happily in amongst the Closed Gentian, and with a somewhat more upright appearance in the moister, richer soil. Now in the more sparsely planted and drier yard, they have stretched themselves out, with a look that is more that of a ground cover. Note to the horticulture trade: promote Wild Petunia instead of Periwinkle!
About the Author
Rachel Shaw focuses on vegetable gardening and growing native plants in her small yard in Rockville, Maryland. She blogs at http://hummingbirdway.blogspot.com/.
Check back here on the 10th of each month for the next installment in this guest blog series on Mid-Atlantic native plants.