Scientific: Ruellia peninsularis
Common: Baja ruellia
Family: Acanthaceae
Origin: Baja, Sonora

Pronounciation: Ru-EL-lee-a pe-nin-su-LAR-is

Hardiness zones:
Sunset 12-13
USDA 9-10 (arid regions are best)

Landscape Use: Accent, informal hedge, background

Form & Character: Evergreen shrub, upright to rounded, looks like Texas sage.

Growth Habit: Moderate to 5 feet (slightly higher with regular irrigation) with equal spread, can maintain as 3 feet hedge.

Foliage/texture: One inche long green, opposite leaves on bright gray stems, viscid; medium fine texture.

Flowers & fruits: Tubular pale purple to violet flowers to 1 inch wide on purple peduncles. Fruit inconspicuous.

Seasonal color: Flowers present during warm times of year, heaviest in spring and again in fall.

Temperature: Hardy to 25oF, sparsely foliated in winter and even defoliates during severe cold snap, but quickly recovers.

Light: Full sun

Soil: Tolerant

Watering: Drought tolerant but responds well to supplemental water, especially when young, by increasing growth rate.

Pruning: Though occasional heading back will increase canopy density, most Baja ruellia in Phoenix urban landscapes end up being sheared along with Leucophyllum by 'horticultural clods' (a.k.a 'hort clods') into cylindrical, functional outdoor table tops or oblong beerkegs.

Propagation: Semi-hardwood cuttings, seed

Disease and pests: None

Additional comments: Looks spindly without supplemental irrigation. Baja ruellia is a good, less vigorous landscape substitute for Leucophyllum frutescens var. green cloud.

A taxonomic note: Baja ruellia is a close relative to R. californica which grows exclusively in Baja.