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Odd Petunia

Posted by jekeesl Central AR 7b (My Page) on
Sat, Aug 31, 13 at 9:44

This Ruellia was unusual. There were several plants in a ditch that were 6 to 10 inches tall, with flowers or fruit from all leaf nodes except the lowermost. The stems, leaves, calyces, and flowers (outside surfaces) were covered with short hairs. The calyx lobes were broadest toward the bottom, and linear. Leaves were on petioles about 0.2 to 0.5 inch long. Flowers were on peduncles roughly 0.2 to 0.3 inch long.

They don't seem to match any of our local species. The calyces were too narrow for R. strepens. Since the flowers weren't sessile, they weren't R. humilis or caroliniensis. They were similar to R. pedunculata, but the ones I've seen had much longer peduncles (Arkansas key says expected peduncle range for R. pedunculata is 1.0 to 1.4 inch long).

Are these non-typical R. pedunculata, or something else? I did see R. purshiana in Weakley's key, and it is a possible match. However, I couldn't find enough detail on that one to confirm it.

Thanks, as always.

 photo OddRuellia2.jpg

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Odd Petunia

Why do you say the flowers are not sessile?

RE: Odd Petunia

Maybe I don't understand what I'm seeing, but there is definitely a stem between the bottom of the flower and the primary stem. I thought that the bottom of the calyx would sit in the leaf axil if sessile??

RE: Odd Petunia

Now I could be wrong too, but to me, I would not consider that to be a petiole. I had a Carolina one growing out front, so here is a snap of it's arrangement.

RE: Odd Petunia

Your photo looks right for Carolina Petunia. Now compare with my flower and that non-sessile pedicel or peduncle underneath. They seem different to me.

RE: Odd Petunia

I don't know Ruellia very well since we don't get them here, but I wonder if it matters if you interpret the base of the pedicel as being subtended by leaves or bracts. From the base of the leaves/bracts the pedicel can't be more than a few mm long.

RE: Odd Petunia

Lycopus, I checked with the site, since they always have good descriptions and photos. The typical R. pedunculata specimen has single axillary flowers on bracteate peduncles, and a pair of foliaceous bracts subtend the calyx. So those small "leaves" under the calyx in my photo are the bracts. The distance on my plant from the bracts to the leaf axil is about 0.25 inch long - not sessile, but too short for R. pedunculata.

In any case, the main reason for this post was to see if anybody was familiar with R. purshiana, and if that could be a match.

Thanks for the comments.

Here is a link that might be useful: Ruellia pedunculata

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