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Wild Petunia

Wild Petunia
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Price: $3.99
Availability: 25
Model: Ruellia makoyana
Average Rating: Not Rated

Ruellia is a genus of flowering plants. Commonly known as ruellias or wild petunias, they are in fact not very closely related to petunias (Petunia). Both genera belong to the same euasterid clade, however. The genus was named in honor of Jean Ruelle, herbalist and physician to Francis I of France and translator of several works of Pedanius Dioscorides.

Apart from the numerous formerly independent genera nowadays considered synonymous with Ruellia, the segregate genera Blechum, Eusiphon, Polylychnis and Ulleria are often included in Ruellia. Acanthopale, however, is nowadays considered a distinct genus.

Ruellias are popular ornamental plants. Some are used as medical plants, but many are known or suspected to be poisonous. Regardless, their leaves are food for the caterpillars of several Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths), typically Nymphalinae and in particular members of their tribe Junoniini. Nymphalinae using Ruellia as host plants include:

 

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