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The Plant Guide

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Desert ruellia

Ruellia peninsularis

roo-EL-lee-a pen-in-soo-LAR-iss

This southern California native shrub produces a dense mass of small, glossy leaves and purple, petunia-like flowers in late spring and early summer. Sporadic flowering can occur throughout the season. It grows up to 4 feet tall and 6 feet wide.

CareDesert ruellia prefers full sun and well-drained soil. In freezing climates, prune back damaged foliage in early spring.

Propagation Sow seed in spring. Root cuttings in spring or early summer.

Problems Leaf spots, rusts, root rots.

  • Genus : Ruellia
  • Zones : 10, 11, 9
  • Plant Height : 3 to 6 feet
  • Plant Width : 3 to 6 feet
  • Moisture : Dry to Medium
  • Bloom Time : Early Summer, Late Spring
  • Light : Full Sun
  • Maintenance : Moderate
  • Plant Type : North American Natives
  • Plant Seasonal Interest : Spring Interest
View Comments


  1. nansterman 10/07/2015

    This information is not entirely correct. Ruellia peninsularis is NOT native to Southern California. It is native to Baja California (that's in Mexico) and to the Sonoran desert which is primarily in Arizona and Mexico and touches southeastern California. The desert climate in southeastern California is dramatically different from the Mediterranean climate in Southern California.

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