Common name: Creeping Ruellia, Blue Shade
Ruellia squarrosa (Fenzl) Cufod. APNI*
Synonyms: Dipteracanthus squarrosus Fenzl APNI*
Description: Sprawling perennial shrub with branches to 60 (-100) cm long, densely white-pilose (some hairs with small glandular apex).
Leaf blades mostly ovate to narrowly ovate, to 7 cm long and 2.7 cm wide, attenuate at base, entire, acute apically; younger leaves densely white-pilose, sparser with age; petioles to 2 cm long.
Inflorescence axillary, solitary; bracteoles linear, 4.5–9 mm long, much shorter than calyx, pubescence as on stems and leaves but usually glandular. Flowers on pedicel to 1 mm long; calyx 10–16 mm long, with linear lobes joined only at the very base, reflexed after fruit is lost; corolla blue, finely pubescent externally on tube, throat and veins of lobes; tube c. 25 mm long; throat c. 12 mm long, curved slightly; lobes c. 15 mm long, more or less equal. Stamens with filaments c. 10 and 14 mm long. Stigma very unequally 2-lobed.
Capsule 12–15 mm long, glabrous, 16–20-seeded, very shortly stipitate; seed c. 2 mm diam., thickened rim with mucilaginous hairs.
Flowering: flowers ?most of year.
Distribution and occurrence: naturalised in the Lane Cove and Baulkham Hills areas and at Blaxland; commonly cultivated in gardens so can be expected to become naturalised elsewhere in New South Wales. Naturalised also in SE Qld (as a garden escape). Native to Mexico.
Growing in bushland near settlement, including damp places near creeks.
NSW subdivisions: *CC
Other Australian states: *Qld
Text by Karen Wilson (21 April 2008); updated May 2017, P.G. Kodela
Taxon concept: R.M. Barker (1996)
APNI* Provides a link to the Australian Plant Name Index (hosted by the Australian National Botanic Gardens) for comprehensive bibliographic data
***The AVH map option provides a detailed interactive Australia wide distribution map drawn from collections held by all major Australian herbaria participating in the Australian Virtual Herbarium project.