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petunia, any plant of the genus Petunia, South American herbs of the family Solanaceae (nightshade family). The common garden petunias, planted also in window boxes, are all considered hybrids of white-flowered and violet-flowered species from Argentina. The plants are of a straggling habit and produce an abundance of large, funnel-shaped, fragrant blossoms. Petunias are classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Solanales, family Solanaceae.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a genus of annual or perennial herbaceous plants of the family Solanaceae. The branching stems are often glandular-hairy. The leaves are entire, and the flowers are solitary and usually large. The corolla, which is violet, reddish, or white, has a cylindrical or hornlike tube and a funnelform or salverform blade with five lobes. The fruit is a capsule.

There are approximately 15 species (according to other data, as many as 40), distributed in South America and in the southern part of North America. Numerous varieties are used as annual ornamentals: they are used as plant borders or planted in flower beds or pots. The varieties are combined under the general name of the common garden petunia (P. × hybrida) and are differentiated according to stem length, size, and the shape and color of the flowers.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


any solanaceous plant of the tropical American genus Petunia: cultivated for their white, pink, blue, or purple funnel-shaped flowers
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Nevertheless, I've talked to many gardeners who have given up growing petunias as well as the closely related calibrachoas, which resemble miniature petunias.
Bee-friendly petunias have enough frills and spills that even one plant of the modern Wave, Million Bells and Surfinia types will pack a punch.
Finally it dawned on us that he wanted to visit Petunia II.
Customers who are looking for handy garden-ready plants will be happy to see Harris' offering of the most popular flower and vegetable transplants including tomatoes, peppers, onions, and petunias. Bareroot fruits like strawberries, blueberries and grapes are available for gardeners who'd like to grow juicy, sweet fruit in their own backyard.
Now on the cusp of National Day, it seems like the rest of the marigolds and petunias are at DMG.
Petunias need at least five hours of sunlight every day.
Staying with petunias, I grew the range of vegetatively propagated Tumbelinas for the first time this summer and was most impressed by their performance in my hanging baskets and window boxes.
Home grown Petunia Express in red white or blue and Petunia Easy Wave Union Flag mixed.
London, Nov 25 (ANI): Horticulturists have developed the world's first black petunia plant for next summer's gardens.
Petunia Sun Spun Yellow is early to flower with a tight and compact form.
Although I do sow hybrid petunias in situ (on top of a mixture of potting compost mixed with vermiculite and covered with cling-film secured in place) I should probably be that much more successful if I started them off in trays.