Ruellia fruticosa

Another species in my favorite clade, Ruellia section Chiropterophila. This one is pretty funky morphologically – I have NO idea what pollinates it. As observed in the two photos, some flowers of Ruellia fruticosa are protogynous, and some are protandrous. Based on field sites I’ve visited in comparison to herbarium records, I suspect that this species, like most others in Chiropterophila, have declined in abundance through time, unfortunately (see Tripp 2010, Systematic Botany). I’d love to learn more about the natural history of this plant at some point in life. Preferably sooner than later.

Interesting green pigmentation at the tips of the corolla lobes, eh?

Wild collected, Mexico, Tripp & Acosta 165 (DUKE); Photo by Erin Tripp

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