The Mexican petunia is sometimes referred to in Phoenix as Purple Showers. The Mexican petunia is one of several desert plants that I recommend for people who want desert plants that are perennial (you need to plant them only once), hardy, low care, relatively drought resistant, easy to find, pretty cheap to buy, and provide lovely color many times during the year.
The botanical name for Mexican Petunia or Purple Showers is Ruellia brittoniana. These are evergreen desert shrubs that flower periodically throughout the year.
Mexican petunia bushes take full sun and are somewhat drought-tolerant, but they need a water source, such as a drip system. They don't get very tall -- just 3 or 4 feet high -- and are evergreen, with a dark green leaf. The flowers are purple or dark blue. The Mexican petunia plant is a fast grower, and is used successfully against block walls, or to surround and camouflage unpleasant looking electrical boxes and air conditioning units. Make sure you leave enough room on one side for repairs of the equipment if necessary. The Mexican petunia is a desert plant that can be grown in a container or shaped into a hedge. These bushes need occasional trimming to be kept neat.
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