elliptic, lanceolate, ovate
blue, purple, white
April - October
0.2 - 0.8
Similar to R. pedunculata, found west of the Mississippi River, which has flowers borne on stalks as long as the flower. Ruellia ciliosa, which also occurs on dry sandy sites, is a dwarf plant with definite petioles and that often forms a rosette at ground level. Ruellia caroliniensis, usually found in wetter sites. Main axis bearing flowers. Leaves essentially sessile, erect-ascending, and hairy.
Ruellia humilis grows best in dry sandy soils with a pH of 6-7.5. The seeds germinate easily with no treatment. Steffen (1997) recommends cold/moist or cold/dry stratification, possiably to break dormancy induced by long term storage. The pods or stems should be collected in late summer (July-September) and placed in paper bags. Plant seeds fresh in the fall or store dry seeds in a refrigerator and plant in early spring (Shirley 1994). There are 72,000 seeds/lb and the recommended planting rate is 25 lbs/acre. Cuttings taken in late spring and summer should be diped in rooting hormone and rooted under mist or in shade.
Desirable to cattle as forage. Attracts hummingbirds, butterflies and hummingbird sphinx moths.
It is found in open forests, savannas, prairies and old fields, throughout Louisiana (except in the Mississippi river flood plain and the coastal parishes) and the eastern parts of Texas. Its flowers last only one day. Late season flowers are self-fertile and produce seed even though the flowers do not open. The genus Ruellia was named for the French physician and botanist who lived from 1474 to 1537.
Open forests, savannas, old fields, dry woods.