Wild Petunia Ruellia brittoniana
This purple flower, Ruellia brittoniana, AKA (also known as) Wild Petunia, was in a garden in front of my home years ago when we first moved in. I wanted other plants there, so I pulled it out, but I liked it, so I planted a few of them under an Australian Pine Tree elsewhere in my yard. Everything else that I planted under that tree died (see my Australian Pine Tree page for the rest of that story), but those 5 or 6 purple flowered wild petunias grew and spread like wildfire. I frequently spray total vegetation killer on the Australian Pine suckers growing in and around the Ruellia, but they don't seem to be very bothered by it.
Ruellia brittoniana, Wild Petunia
Ruellia brittoniana, Wild Petunia, is not a native Florida plant, and it is extremely hard to kill, and it spreads, so even though my skipper butterflies nectar on it, I wouldn't recommend it for your butterfly garden.

Have a look at this Monk Skipper Butterfly nectaring on the Ruellia. The skipper found the Ruellia flower, and you can see it reaching with its proboscis trying to get to the nectar.

Ruellia brittoniana, Wild Petunia
Skipper Butterfly nectars on Ruellia brittoniana, Wild Petunia
Skipper Butterfly nectars on Ruellia brittoniana, Wild Petunia
Skipper Butterfly nectars on Ruellia brittoniana, Wild Petunia
The skipper seems to be having some difficulty getting deep enough into that very long flower:
The skipper is still trying (there is a point to this - just wait for the photo after this one!):
...and finally, it takes the dive, and gets the goodies! Yum.
I really hope you enjoyed that photo sequence as much as I did seeing it happen and putting it here to share.

I'm still laughing at that little Monk Skipper Butterfly in the flower. It reminds me of a very little kid drinking out of a very large glass.

Skipper Butterfly nectars on Ruellia brittoniana, Wild Petunia
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