AZ Arboretums

Ruellia peninsularis

desert ruelliaCommon: Baja ruellia, Desert ruellia, Desert petunia
Family: Acanthaceae
Origin: Baja California, Sonoran desert
USDA Zone: 9
Light: Part to full sun
Soil: Well drained
Water: Can survive on rainfall alone but giving water during summer keeps plant more robust.

Screening plant, hedge. Background plant, color accent. Works well with other flowering desert plants. Small to medium dense shrub, 2-4.5 feet in height and spread. Evergreen shrub, but will drop leaves in cold, dry periods. Rounded shape with equal spread, moderate growth rate. Fine texture, bright green. Stems are smooth, light gray. Pale to deep purple to blue flowers from fall throughout winter and into spring. Plant any time during the cool season. Space 3 feet apart for mass or barrier plantings. Provide moderate water until the plant is well established; after that, the plant requires little care. Propogation by seed or cuttings.