Petunia violacea Lindl.

Half hardy, short-lived, shrubby, perennial with purple flowers in summer.  To 25cm.  [RHSE, Hortus].

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘There are few plants in our gardens which surpass this in brilliancy of blossoms and general beauty.  It is a native of Buenos Ayres, from whence seeds were sent to the Glasgow Botanic Garden, in 1830, by Mr. Tweedie [first flowering in 1831].  It succeeds extremely well in the open border, during summer, but must be treated as a hardy green-house plant in winter; the flowers show to the greatest advantage if a whole bed be devoted th them, and where the branches are allowed to spread over the whole surface, and become entangles with each other.’  [MB p.7/1834].  ‘There is perhaps no plant yet in our Gardens which is quite as handsome as this; even the Verbena chamaedrifolia, superior as it is in colour, must yield to it in point of general beauty.  It forces well: grown in a greenhouse, with its prostrate branches tied to the bars of a trellis or wire screen, it soon covers a space three feet square with its leaves and flowers, and so becomes a striking object before any of the hardy border-flowers have begun to expand.’  [BR f.1626/1833].  ‘This new and distinct species of Salpiglossis was raised from seeds sent in the autumn of 1830, by Mr. Tweedies of Buenos Ayres, to the Glasgow botanic Garden, where the young plants, placed in a warm exposure in the open air produced their richly coloured blossoms in july in the following year.’  [BM t.3113/1831].

History at Camden Park

Listed in the 1845, 1850 and 1857 catalogues [H.181/1845].


It is possible that the plant listed as Petunia violacea in the catalogues is a garden hybrid, certainly Hortus is of the view that at least some of the material so listed in the USA in the 1930s and 40s were hybrids.  See also notes under Petunia axillaris (Lam.) Britton, Stern & Pogenb.

Macarthur’s plant is not Petunia violacea Chodat & Hassl., published after 1865.

Published Feb 12, 2009 - 01:10 PM | Last updated Feb 25, 2010 - 04:58 PM

Depicted is an upright plant with ovate leaves and red-purple funnel-shaped flowers.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.3113, 1831.

Petunia violacea Lindl. | BM t.3113/1831 | BHL

More details about Petunia violacea Lindl.
Family Solanaceae
Region of origin


  • Petunia phoenicea D.Don ex Loud.
  • Petunia integrifolia (Hook.) Schinz & Thell.
  • Salpiglossis integrifolia Hook.
Common Name


Name in the Camden Park Record

Petunia violacea 

Confidence level high