Ruellia pringlei, you were one of my first Chiropterophilan loves! … even if named after another DWG. Dead White Guys…. sigh.
OK: this species belongs clearly to Ruellia section Chiropterophila, but I doubt it is bat pollination, as the sectional name implies. Almost certainly not. In fact, I’ve seen butterflies almost faint over it.
But I met you before I met most others in the clade, and in those hot, dry, spiny forests of a December in Oaxaca, you stole my heart and solidified my future. Kyle was with me when I found it. Not far from Tehuantepec. Even he, as a tropical tree guy, got a little squishy inside…
Wild collected, Mexico, Tripp & Dexter #161 (DUKE), photo by Erin Tripp