Ruellia pearcei

I sure like this plant. It is member to the large, taxonomically rich, morphologically diverse Physiruellia lineage. There is a heckuvalot of hummingbird pollination going on in this clade, with most species making these lipstick red flowers (not the Sarah Palin kind). Species in Physiruellia are particularly fond of western South America. This one is distinct by its abaxially purple leaves, primarily. Well, there are other features… See for yourself.

Update (Sep 2016): saw this species in Bolivia growing in a rich mesic shaded forest above a river after only previously seeing it in the Duke greenhouse.

Wild collected, Bolivia, Erin Tripp #5891 w/ Manuel Luján, and Dina Clark (COLO); Photos by Manuel Luján; Blog post by Dina Clark

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