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Petrea rugosa


Petrea rugosa Kunth

Family Name: Verbenaceae
Synonyms: Petrea obtusifoliaPetrea rugosa f. castaPetrea rugosa f. casta

Petrea rugosa is an evergreen shrub with attractive rough-textured, dark green leaves. It thrives well in warm environments, adorning gardens with cascades of vibrant bluish purple flowers resembling wisteria.


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority
Name Status (botanical)
Species Summary

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Shrub
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Maximum Height 3 m


Native Distribution Colombia, Panamá, Venezuela
Native Habitat Terrestrial
Local Conservation Status Non-native (Horticultural / Cultivated Only)

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form Shrub that grows to about 3 m tall.
Foliage Leaves measuring 3 - 10 x 2.5 - 7 cm, elliptical to oblong shaped, pubescent on the underside of leaves, rough texture on both surfaces, dented at maturity. Leaf base obtuse to truncate, apex obtuse to emarginate, and margin entire. Petioles measuring 1- 6 mm long and pubescent. 
Stems Stems have quadrangular and pubescent branches.
Flowers Inflorescence measuring 12 - 50 cm long, usually axillary and solitary along the stem. Pedicels are pubescent, calyx is about 6 mm and slightly pubescent, lobes are 10 - 13 mm long. Corolla is 8 - 11 mm long, slightly hairy, blue or white, 5 broadly elliptical lobes. The calyx persists on the plant after the flowers have dropped.
Habitat Found in low deciduous forests and river banks. 
Etymology The genus Petrea is named after Robert James Petre, the patron of botany. The specific epithet rugosa means wrinkled, rugose, in reference to the leaf surface. 

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Flowers, Ornamental Foliage
Landscape Uses Parks & Gardens

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Moderate
Rootzone Tolerance Well-Drained Soils, Moist Soils, Fertile Loamy Soils
Propagation Method Stem Cutting


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Rough
Prominent Young Flush Colour(s) Green
Young Flush Texture(s) Rough
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Opposite
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Elliptical, Oblong)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Entire
Foliar Apex - Tip Emarginate, Obtuse
Foliar Base Rounded / Obtuse, Truncate / Square

Non - Foliar and Storage

Stem Type & Modification Woody
Root Type Underground

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) Purple, Blue
Flower Texture(s) Smooth
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Location Axillary
Flower Symmetry Radial
Individual Flower Shape Stellate / Star-shaped
Inflorescence Type Raceme
Flowering Period Free-Flowering


References <1> Davidse, G. & al. (eds.) (2012). Flora Mesoamericana 4(2): 1-533. Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, México, D.F.

Image Repository



Master ID 33120
Species ID 7534
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 07 June 2024.