21 June 2011
Go Wild with the Wild Petunias
The wild petunias started showing up in the garden a couple of years back, and I have to admit that I'm happy they did. This is probably considered a weed by some, but this native is really pretty and obviously doesn't mind the drought. The papery purple flowers open in the morning. I guess they like the cooler time of the day too...
Since showing up, the wild petunias have since spread all about, so I can see that it could be problematic for folks with more formal arrangements. But our gardens are a bit on the wild side here, so I've let it grow on the edges of pea gravel walks and in between pavers. Plus, I like to encourage things to grow where they want, rather than forcing them.
I believe this one is the wild petunia, Ruellia nudiflora, which interestingly is in the Acanthaceae (along with Flame Acanthus, another great native shrubby plant). The wild petunia is also a good butterfly host for several species, including the common buckeye.