A quick trip to Shawnee State Park yielded a few interesting photos. One of of Ohio's most under-used flowers, the Wild Petunia, Ruellia humilis would be a stunning plant in the landscape.
Wild Petunia, Ruellia humilis with a very handsome striped insect. (click on the photo to enlarge)
This flower is pretty much contained in the southwest quadrant of the state of Ohio, and it is not uncommon to find this species growing in the ditches and along roadsides. The softly fuzzy leaves and violet flowers are worth stopping to inspect, as deep in the throat of the flower are magenta veins which probably act as nectar guides. If they are half as effective with insects as they are with me, this member of the Acanthus family should have no problem getting pollinated.
The bonus insect- a minuet fellow with a distinctive strip and festive dotting on the legs, should be easy enough to ID. Unfortunately, I am having no luck! Any takers out there?