Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Ruellia formosa Andr.

Frost tender, evergreen perennial subshrub with entire, opposite, ovate leaves, to 7cm long, and funnel-shaped scarlet flowers in summer.  To 60cm.  [RHSD, Hortus].

Horticultural & Botanical History

Botanically described by Andrews in 1810 as Ruellia formosa [ABR vol.10, t.610/1810].

‘This species comes very near to the macrophylla of Vahl, and appears to be the same as the specimen preserved under that  name in the Banksian Herbarium, which was collected at St. Martha, the native place of Vahl’s plant.  The latter, however, differs so much in the relative length of the peduncles and leaves, and in the form of the flower, according to his figure and description, that we cannot venture to determine them to be the same species.  Our plant is said to be a native of Brazil, and was introduced to this country by Sir Charles Cotton, Bart. in the year 1808.’  [BM t.1400/1811].  ABR pl.610/1810.

History at Camden Park

Listed only in the 1857 catalogue [T.913/1857].


Ruellia formosa Humb. & Bonpl. = Aphelandra formosa (Spreng.) Nees, syn. Hygrophila formosa Spreng.

Published Feb 22, 2010 - 04:18 PM | Last updated Apr 14, 2011 - 05:13 PM

Figured are opposite, ovate leaves and terminal funnel-shaped scarlet flowers.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine BM t.1400, 1811.

Ruellia formosa Andr. | BM t.1400/1811 | BHL

Family Acanthaceae
Region of origin


  • Ruellia elegans Poir.
  • Arrhostoxylum elegans (Poir.) Bremek
Common Name
Name in the Camden Park Record

Ruellia Formosa 

Confidence level high