Mexican petunia - Mayan Series

juneroses Z9a Cntrl FlAugust 2, 2014

Wanted to share info on a newer Mexican petunia I noticed at Home Depot today. The white flowering ones caught my eye. The label ID'd them as ruellia simplex "Mayan White".

At home I googled and learned that the Mayan series consists of 3 new sterile cultivars (purple, white and pink) developed by the University of Florida and commercialized in 2013. They're supposed to have a more compact growth habit.

I realize that some consider the Mexican petunia too "common" for their garden. I feel differently. A tall clump of the sterile "Purple Showers" already provides perfect height, color, and foliage contrast in a difficult growing area of my garden.

I didn't buy the Mayan White today, but now that I know a bit more about it, I'm going to look around and see if there's a home for it in my garden too. I love the pop that spots of white give to the beds. Maybe you do too.

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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

maybe you're talking about another type of plant?? (Ruellia brittoniana?) I have the white form as welll as pink and blue i found them to be far more delicate then the usual purple so I grow them semi- aquatic in gravel
There is also a bicolor type which I killed almost immediately lol. They have been around for years Maybe a new hybrid?? White /pink and blue tend to be dwarf IME ?? gary

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 4:01AM
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juneroses Z9a Cntrl Fl

Hi Gary: According to the following except from the Missouri Botanical Garden, we're speaking about the same plant:

"Considerable confusion has existed over the years as to the correct specific epithet for this plant. It is been given a number of different names, including R. brittoniana, R. coerulea, R. malacosperma and R. tweediana. At this time, Ruellia simplex is the preferred specific epithet because it has been determined that this was the name first given to this plant in 1870 when it was described in Cuba, and accordingly that name has priority."

It also seems like both the tall and short ones are ID'd as r. simplex (or whichever tag you prefer to use) with "dwarf" being added to the name for the shorter ones.

I grow a dwarf blue/purple called "Katie's". I've seen shorter ones in white and pink like you have too. Not aware of a bicolor. I like the short white one (there I go with "white" again).

I moved one of my small Katie's yesterday. No wonder they do well. It was quite a mass of dense roots. It's been watered well and an upturned basket is providing shade until it "digs" in and can cope with the sun and heat.


    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 11:26AM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

Floridata lists 4 But to pick nits to me the purple is actually violet while the blue is lavender lol the bicolor i found at a nursery ,promptly killed and have never seen them again lol The white remains dwarf and does much better water cultured in fact the only way I kept them alive . No danger of them becoming invasive lol I find the purple will climb shrubs but never becomes a vine nor epiphytic.
I would kind of agree that the purple is "invasive" but certainly provides a LOT of color in areas where nothingb grows and they do make great low hedges ?? gary

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 3:56AM
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Gary, did I understand right that the "Mayan White" variety needs a lot of water and planted on a border of a pond or any other water sources? I got one pot from HD thinking that this is hard as a purple one and I can plant anywhere, not close to any water. It is still sitting in a pot and if it will not survive the regular conditions I can return.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 10:35PM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

I doubt I have the "Mayan white" as I've had it well over 10 years . i find them far less hardy than the purple with much different growth habit . I grow them in a box of gravel next to the water garden Could never get them to live with regular methods . Find them MUCh more water demanding than the purples Perhaps I have a different kind they certainly look and grow MUCH different than the purples ?? Floridata lists no differences in culture methods of the 4 types .
Good luck with them they certainly flower well !!! gary

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 4:05AM
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