Ruellia simplex – Mexican Petunia

Other notes

Natural History: Non-native Perennial Herb.
It is a perennial herb native to Mexico to tropical America, often cultivated as an ornamental plant in gardens due to its attractive flowers. However, it has become naturalized in many tropical and subtropical regions worldwide. It exhibits a clumping habit and can reach heights of up to 1 meter, with lance-shaped leaves. The trumpet-shaped flowers range in color from purple to pink or white, borne in terminal clusters and blooming throughout the summer. The fruit is a capsule containing numerous tiny seeds (Flowers of India 2022; WFO 2022).

Notes: This plant has been recorded as a new larval host for Junonia almana – Peacock Pansy by Priyanka Kumari from Mumbai, Maharashtra in 2020.

Flowers of India (2022): Desert Petunia. Accessed on 21 Dec 2022. URL:
Nitin, R., V. C. Balakrishnan, P. V. Churi, S. Kalesh, S. Prakash, and K. Kunte. 2018. Larval host plants of the butterflies of the Western Ghats, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa, 10:11495–11550. DOI:
WFO (2022): World Flora Online. Accessed on 21 Dec 2022. URL:

Page citation

Kumari, P. and N. Kawthankar. 2024. Ruellia simplex C.Wright – Mexican Petunia. In Kunte, K., S. Sondhi, and P. Roy (Chief Editors). Butterflies of India, v. 4.12. Published by the Indian Foundation for Butterflies. URL:, accessed 2024/04/17.