Native Petunia?

Have you ever found yourself wishing their was a native alternative to the common petunia hybrids sold in hanging baskets at outrageous prices? Well, you’re in luck because Prairie Moon has just what you’re looking for. Meet the wild petunia (Ruellia humilis – Native to much of the eastern US, this lovely plant isn’t actually a petunia (which are relatives of the tomato) but rather a member of the Acanthaceae family. Either way, the resemblance is striking. Standing about a foot in height, wild petunia is an excellent addition to a bed with other short plants. It is quite a hardy species as well, handling just about most conditions you could throw at it, save for swampy soils. It is so hardy in fact that it can be a bit aggressive so, keep and eye on where seedlings turn up. When mature, the seeds literally explode from the plant, traveling upwards of 10 feet! When in flower, wild petunia attracts a wide variety of insect pollinators but the lavendar blooms are especially attractive to long tongued bees and butterflies. It is also a host plant for the larvae of the buckeye butterfly. Blooming throughout the hottest parts of the summer, wild petunia is sure to please while other plants are withering away.



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