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Apart from the numerous formerly independent genera nowadays considered synonymous with Ruellia, the segregate genera Blechum, Eusiphon, Polylychnis and Ulleria are often included in Ruellia. Acanthopale, however, is nowadays considered a distinct genus.
Ruellias are popular ornamental plants. Some are used as medicinal plants, but many are known or suspected to be poisonous. Their leaves are food for the caterpillars of several Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths), typically Nymphalinae and in particular members of their tribeJunoniini. Nymphalinae using Ruellia as host plants include: