Sunday, July 10, 2011

What's that plant?

This is a common plant around here.  The plant stands 18-24 inches high; the flowers are about 2.5 inches and are not quite so pale as they appear in the pics.  They're a nice medium purple.

They bloom profusely if there's been enough rain and this year we've had plenty, so there were a lot of them.    In the fall, the plant turns yellow and really shows up against the darker orange and tan grass of fall and winter. 

Hint:  The cultivated variety is an annual that is one of the most ubiquitous container plants in the midwest. 

Answer below the fold

Answer:  Wild Petunia  [ruellia pedunculata]

According to Audubon, the plant likes rich woods, especially limestone sites.    We've got the limestone and woods, but these babies mostly grow on barren clay and the road edge.   Interesting.

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