Ruellia blechum

Ruellia blechum L.

Synonym: Blechum brownei

Common Names: Green Shrimp Plant, Browne’s Blechum

Family: Acanthaceae

Habit: Ruellia blechum grows as a herb to 70 cm in height when in flower.  The leaves are arranged oppositely, up to 8 cm in length, ovate to lanceolate with an acute/obtuse leaf apex and an slightly undulate leaf margin.

The complete, perfect, zygomorphic flowers are arranged in axillary and terminal quadrangle spikes. Each flower is subtended by an ovate, pubescent leaf like bract. The calyx has 5, green, linear sepals that are slightly fused at their base.  The corolla has 5, fused pink/white/blue petals in 2 sets (2 upper petals and 3 lower petals).  There are 4 stamens fused to the corolla tube.  The superior ovary has 2 locules and numerous ovules. The fruit is a capsule at maturity.

Habitat: Ruellia blechum grows in Human Altered environments (yards, gardens, abandoned fields).

Distribution: Ruellia blechum is a doubtful unlikely native but does occur on all island groupings within the Lucayan Archipelago as well as the Caribbean region, Mexico, Central and northern South America.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Ruellia blechum is not known to be used medicinally in the Lucayan Archipelago.