(Meadow Beauty)The genus Rhexia is fairly small, containing just 14 species that are primarily located in the Southeast US (including North Carolina). Rhexia is the black sheep of the Melastomaceae family as it is the only genus in the family that is not tropical. In fact the only cousin of Rhexia that can be grown here in the South is the tropical genus Tibouchina, which is just barely cold hardy.
Rhexia is a cute little herbaceous perennial that lives in the wild in moist grasslands, flat woods, and bogs. Rhexia produces unique pink or white, butterfly-attracting flowers on the end of long, thin stems which gives the plant an airy habit. Rhexia spreads by shallow stolons, so it's perfect for weaving in and out of other plantings in a mixed border. After pollination, the flowers morph into small urn-shaped fruit. If you get really close to your Rhexia you will notice two interesting and unique traits about the genus: the anthers and the leaf veins are long and curved.
In its native habitat, Rhexia is usually found near water, but in the garden, it has proved amazingly drought-tolerant, growing in almost every garden soil we've tried. Rhexia prefers a sunny site and combines well with other sunny bog plants such as sarracenia, hymenocallis, acorus, and colocasia. As a bonus, rhexia plants are edible...the leaves make a great slightly tart salad green and the roots may be chopped up to add a nutty flavor to dishes. When you're ready to buy rhexia for your garden, check out our online offering of rhexia for sale.