Ruellia ciliatiflora


This is one of those species that, in the past, some have struggled with in terms of identification. It is purple-flowered, long pedunculate, and produces elliptical/cylindrical capsules. Sounds a lot like Ruellia tuberosa and Ruellia simplex, right? You wouldn’t be crazy if you said so.

Yet: they are different. Not by tremendous leaps and bounds, but… different.

Ruellia ciliatiflora used to be known by its synonym, Ruellia lorentziana, in the southeastern USA, where it has become weedy in parts. If you grow this in your greenhouses, CAREFUL. It might take over! Its native range is entirely South American.

Wild collected (which is cool! I’ve only ever seen it in greenhouse cultivation), Bolivia, Darwin Initiative Project #162/11/010; Photo by John Wood

2 thoughts on “Ruellia ciliatiflora

  1. How do I eradicate, control, prevent from returning. I have a friend who has this in his shadehouse, having reportedly sprayed with Glyophosate (Roundup) hasn’t really controlled it


    • Hi Stuart,
      I wish I could help, but I’m not really in the business of weed control. I work on the natural history / evolutionary biology side of things. Thinking intuitively about it, I would think that the best way to stop the spread of any invasive species is to prevent it from reproducing. Ruellia ciliatiflora reproduces through explosively dehiscent fruits that fling 10 or so seeds about 1m distance. I would start by removing all plants (or at least all fruits) before the fruits have a chance to mature. That should get the population under control pretty quickly. I hope this helps.


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