Jan. 23, 2017

limestone wild-petunia, Ruellia strepens

This plant is as often known by its generic name, Ruellia. It is endangered in Michigan. It was reported from Lenawee County in 1957, and for many years those two sites were the only ones known in the state. In 2010 Sherm and I searched those two sites and found only eleven plants. It looked like this species was just about extirpated. But this was year one AD, and I went looking for lizard's-tail (see 1/18 posting). I found a hybrid mulberry and went looking for its parent. At the next woodlot I thought I saw it, and defied the no trespass sign. I found many Ruellia, and the guy who put up the sign found me. After a heated exchange, my social work de-escalation skills paid off. I found out about the owner, and went to see him. He recommended another woodlot on their family farms, and there were many thousands of these plants. The flower is about an inch across. This species grows in low woodlands in AL, AR, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MD(E), MI(E), MO, MS, NC, NE, NJ, OH, OK, PA(T), SC, TN, TX, VA, and WV. Lenawee Co MI, 7/3/11