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This is a hardy perennial that grows up to 5' tall. It has a spreading root system and purple, crinkled petunia-like flowers. What is it?

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Can you please post a photo showing the whole plant & one showing a flower (if possible)... –  Mike Perry Oct 20 '11 at 3:21

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

That could be Mexican Petunia. The flowers are usually purple or pink but also exist in shades of blue and white.

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+1 Everything looks good, except the height (Mexican Petunia maxing out @ about 3ft/900mm), but I've learnt that plants don't necessarily obey their "stated" (textbook) sizes... –  Mike Perry Oct 21 '11 at 21:31
    
Mexican Petunia (whether we mean Ruellia cerulea or Ruellia angustifolia) does not appear to be hardy in Pennsylvania. I saw them both listed as zone 8 or higher. Otherwise, it does seem like a good match. Perhaps it gets lots of snow cover where it is growing. –  Eric Nitardy Oct 24 '11 at 5:05

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