Ruellia tuberosa

Ruellia tuberosa L.

Common Names: Fever Root, Minnie Root, Snapdragon Root, Sheep Potato

Family: Acanthaceae

Habit: Ruellia tuberosa grows as an herb to 70 cm in height.  The leaves are arranged oppositely, up to 12 cm in length, elliptic to ovate with an acute/obtuse leaf apex and a slightly undulate leaf margin.

The complete, perfect, zygomorphic flowers are arranged in few flowered cymes in leaf axils.  The calyx has 5 green, linear sepals that are slightly fused at their base.  The corolla has 5 fused purple or pink 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 tuberosa grows in Human Altered environments (yards, gardens, abandoned fields).

Distribution: Ruellia tuberosa occurs on all island groupings within the Lucayan Archipelago but is NOT native and does not occur in natural areas.  It does occur in the Caribbean, Mexico, Central and northern South America.  It is now also in eastern Africa, Asia, the Indian subcontinent, and Florida.

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

Ruellia tuberosa is used in the horticultural industry.