Ruellia asperula

 

Plants like this make you wish you were a hummingbird. Aside from that option, I reckon a botanist was the next best incarnation.

Ruellia asperula is one of the many reasons why the R. inundata clade is simply the genus at its finest. And it is the only member of this clade with bright red flowers (elsewhere: purple, pink, yellow, but never solid red). Ruellia asperula inhabits the dry caatingas of northeastern Brazil and occurs absolutely nowhere else on Earth. Check out some of that scrubby dry forest in the background of these photos.

I might secretly like this species *almost* as much as Roger Federer.

Wild collected, Brazil, N. Medina # 967 w/ E. Tripp; Photos by N. Medina

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