Ruellia chartacea


A striking red-flowered species from western South America, Ruellia chartacea stands out in the genus for having arguably the showiest and most brightly colored bracts. While this feature is widespread in other lineages of Acanthaceae (e.g., Justicia, Sanchezia), it is rather uncommon in Ruellia. Check out the loooooong red floral tubes. I sure would like to see this thing get pollinated (the hummingbird must be equally impressive).

Based on inflorescence structure, Ruellia chartacea is a sure candidate for membership in the R. tubiflora / R. humboldtiana lineage. Clades are cool, especially when they make sense morphologically!

Not vouchered, cultivated DUKE greenhouses (originally from Bolivia); Photo by Erin Tripp

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