During these August days, these hot days, these dog days of summer, I relish the relative cool of my garden. Here in Texas, morning is best–quiet, fresh, uncooked. It’s been hot, more hot than what once passed for August hot. Fortunately, my garden remains green and lush, with sprinklings of color–some warm, some cool–all welcome.
Drummond’s Ruellia, Ruellia drummondiana, is a star in the garden, especially at this time of year.
This native summer blooming wildflower which came from seeds collected some years ago, were let loose to live: they germinated and have produced many generations. They’re happy wherever they set root, or wherever I transplant the emergent seedlings. Drummond’s bloom sporadically in late spring and early summer, but ramp up in July, reaching the zenith of their beauty just as our “real” heat kicks in and kicks ass. Well, kicks my ass, anyhow. The Drummond’s Ruellia? They’re just fine and dandy: no wilting, no complaining. The hotter it is, the better they bloom.
Visited by several kinds of native bees, honeybees, and some small skippers, the ruellias are hosts for pollination parties. This ruellia is also the host plant for the Common buckeye, Junonia coenia, though that butterfly isn’t particularly common in my garden. I grab my camera when I see one.
The plant produces flowers in pretty purple, each individual flute opening for just one day. At the end of the bloom life, tissue-paper petals form, preparing for seeds and new blooms.
Drummond’s Ruellia is a great shade/part-shade plant and perfect for my shady place.
Linking today with Anna at her lovely Flutter and Hum and Wednesday Vignette; pop on over to enjoy other garden stories.