Ruellia is a genus of flowering plants commonly known as ruellias or wild petunias.[3] They are not closely related to petunias (Petunia) although both genera belong to the same euasterid clade. The genus was named in honor of Jean Ruelle (1474–1537), herbalist and physician to Francis I of France and translator of several works of Dioscorides.[4]

Wayside Tuberose -Ruella tuberosa- flower in Hyderabad, AP W IMG 6628.jpg
Ruellia tuberosa
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Acanthaceae
Subfamily: Acanthoideae
Tribe: Ruellieae
Genus: Ruellia

Many, see text

    • Alvarezia Pav. ex Nees
    • Aphragmia Nees
    • Aporuellia C.B.Clarke
    • Arrhostoxylum Mart. ex Nees
    • Benoicanthus Heine A.Raynal
    • Blechum P.Browne
    • Copioglossa Miers
    • Cryphiacanthus Nees
    • Cyrtacanthus Mart. ex Nees
    • Dipteracanthus Nees
    • Dizygandra Meisn.
    • Endosiphon T.Anderson ex Benth. Hook.f.
    • Eurychanes Nees
    • Eusiphon Benoist
    • Fabria E.Mey.
    • Gymnacanthus Nees
    • Gymnacanthus Oerst.
    • Holtzendorffia Klotzsch H.Karst. ex Nees
    • Larysacanthus Oerst.
    • Lychniothyrsus Lindau
    • Micraea Miers
    • Neowedia Schrad.
    • Nothoruellia Bremek. Nann.-Bremek.
    • Ophthalmacanthus Nees
    • Pattersonia J.F.Gmel.
    • Pentstemonacanthus Nees
    • Pseudoruellia Benoist
    • Salpingacanthus S.Moore
    • Sclerocalyx Nees
    • Scorodoxylum Nees
    • Siphonacanthus Nees
    • Solaenacanthus Oerst.
    • Spirostigma Nees
    • Stemonacanthus Nees
    • Stenoschista Bremek.
    • Stephanophysum Pohl
    • Tacoanthus Baill.
    • Tremacanthus S.Moore

Apart from the numerous formerly independent genera nowadays considered synonymous with Ruellia, the segregate genera Blechum, Eusiphon, Polylychnis and Ulleria are often included in Ruellia. Acanthopale, however, is considered a distinct genus.

Ruellias are popular ornamental plants. Some are used as medicinal plants, but many are known or suspected to be poisonous. Their leaves are food for the caterpillars of several Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths), typically Nymphalinae and in particular members of their tribe Junoniini, such as the larvae of the banded peacock (Anartia fatima). Nymphalinae using Ruellia as host plants include the common buckeye (Junonia coenia), recorded on R. nodiflora, the lemon pansy (Junonia lemonias), recorded on R. tuberosa, and the malachite butterfly (Siproeta stelenes) and Australian lurcher (Yoma sabina), which are recorded on several species.

Bell weed (Ruellia prostrata)

Selected speciesEdit

Formerly placed hereEdit

Numerous plants, mainly in the family Acanthaceae, are former members of Ruellia. Some examples are:

See alsoEdit

  • 21540 Itthipanyanan, an asteroid named after a student who authored an award-winning experiment[7] on the dehiscence and dispersion of Ruellia tuberosa seed pods.


  1. ^ "Genus: Ruellia L." Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. 2009-01-23. Retrieved 2010-05-26.
  2. ^ "Ruellia Plum. ex L." Plants of the World Online. Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. 2017. Retrieved 13 August 2020.
  3. ^ a b "Ruellia". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 2011-05-20.
  4. ^ Burkhardt, Lotte (2018). Verzeichnis eponymischer Pflanzennamen – Erweiterte Edition [Index of Eponymic Plant Names – Extended Edition] (pdf) (in German). Berlin: Botanic Garden and Botanical Museum, Freie Universität Berlin. doi:10.3372/epolist2018. ISBN 978-3-946292-26-5. Retrieved 1 January 2021.
  5. ^ "Ruellia ciliosa Pursh". Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS). Retrieved 6 April 2013.
  6. ^ a b "GRIN Species Records of Ruellia". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved 2011-05-20.
  7. ^ "21540 Itthipanyanan (1998 QE11)". JPL Small-Body Database. Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 6 April 2013.

External linksEdit