Invasion of a wildflower, pls help identify

Nira Juso
8 months ago

Hi all! Is anyone into wildflowers? We have a patch of plants under an non-gardened shaded area. My neighbor cultivates wildflowers and I remember seeing these in her garden at one point. Or are these weeds?? These blossom with small purple flowers certain times of the year. They have invaded an area under smal

tree, and it appears the patch just keeps multiplying. Can anyone help identify what kind of plant this might be? I live in South Texas.

Comments (11)

  • nel5397

    The common name is Mexican Petunia (ruellia). It can be a thug in the garden.

  • Nira Juso

    Thank you Nel! We enjoy the flowers, but it doesn't blossom al year long and has gotten pretty annoying at taking over unwelcomed. Thug sounds correct. HA! Neighborhood cats love creeping in there, I'm sure other creatures do to...Yikes!

  • Nira Juso

    Cleared the whole patch under trees. Boy was that work! Whew! Wish I would have taken a before picture. Going to do so from now and on. Somewhat new to gardening but I've always loved it (from afar) felt intimidated by it and discouraged after a few failed attempts, which truly were lack of consistency on my part given that my little babies and household is a priority. Well babies are bit bigger now I feel that spending time in nature is good for me (and thus for my peeps) INTIMIDATED BY GARDENING NO MORE! This was sooooo EMPOWERING. From now on BRING IT!!

  • wantonamara Z8 CenTex

    There are some entertaining threads on Ruella. They spit seeds far and wide too. One hit me in the eye. Rude bugger. They also come back from small segments of the stools that they spread around with so keep after that patch. They are hard to get rid of, but not impossible. I would do a couple of pull outs before you plant anything there or you will be pulling out around freshly planted plants.

  • memetexas

    Well, I am one who was drooling over that bed because I love the purple flowers of Ruella, in fact I just went out this morning to admire mine that I fertilized last week and now they are all blooming. Sometimes it's not a bad thing to have them in an area that is perfect for them to grow especially when they seed themselves.

    That's the beauty of using native plants, they're not all lined up like a row of soldiers.

  • docmom_gw

    If you are embarking on a new gardening adventure, consider using native plants in your yard. They will encourage songbirds and other small wildlife creatures that are disappearing from our world, as human development encompasses more and more real estate. Check out the Xerces Society for suggestions.


  • Sylvia Gordon

    They are excellent pollinator plants, blooming from early summer through the first hard Frost, providing a long season of nourishment.

    I would plant them where nothing else will grow, full sun and not much water if any.

    I've seen them growing on the west side of the house next to a heat radiating brick wall, I've seen them growing at gas stations where nothing ever gets watered, and I have my own little story.

    Several years ago, someone was to come dig some Mexican petunias for her own garden.

    It was so hot, and I wanted her little garden project to be a success, and I was afraid if she dug them up in the heat she would be too tired to plant them.

    So I dug them up for her lol.

    Put them in a wheelbarrow, spritzed them with water, and covered them up with a wet towel.

    She never showed up.

    So I took them to a hot, dry spot behind the garage, in full sun, where I had been thinking about making a compost pile..

    I laid them on the ground, covered them with a little soil so I wouldn't have to watch them wilt & die, and said "rot in peace, amen".

    I now have a really nice, healthy little stand of them out there behind the garage, and they bloom their heads off all summer every year

    I put the compost pile somewhere else.

  • roselee z8b S.W. Texas

    Love that story. They are survivors for sure.

  • daninthedirt (USDA 8a, HZ10, Cent TX, Sunset z30)

    I have a shaded creek bed that is naturally FILLED with dwarf ruellia. It just takes over everywhere. When you walk through it, it comes up to your knees. Loves to root in wet soil, but tolerates drought. The leaves are narrower than in the picture at top. Many ruellia are Texas Superstar plants. Some are native to Texas. All are invasive. The stuff is known to be very disease and insect resistant.

  • wantonamara Z8 CenTex

    I have a hill county rubella that stays close to the ground and clumps and blooms in the summer. It grows in full sun in the fields wild.

  • HU-629454853

    I had them for years and loved them. They were in an out of the way spot and needed no care. Then I got chickens. They ate them to death. Not one root survived.

    They also will eat all the oxalis that they can find, but tend to leave all the other flowers alone.

Need help with an existing Houzz order? Call 1-800-368-4268