2 off-topic New Orleans questions

Apologies for this non-aroid post ... 

There is a chance I'll be in New Orleans on business in a month or two. In
case I do make it I'd appreciate suggestions on botanical/horticultural
places worth visiting there. About any venue is interesting whether
commercial nurseries and sellers, botanical gardens, parks, universities,
etc. Interesting vegetation is the main criteria. 

The second question concerns a Ruellia which Phil Mueller sent me from New
Orleans some years ago. He told me that it "is a weed" there, though a
most charming weed. The flowers are about 1.25 inches long, typical of the
genus, and a true cherry red in color. The leaves are dark green on the
top surface, a purple shade below. I've looked through various catalogs
and references and have a guess, but now that I'm about to give away some
cuttings to a friend I'd like to solicit other opinions on its identity. 

I can give a more detailed description for anyone who would like it, but
thought I might save space by saying just "very typical of a ruellia",
other than the surprising - to me - flower color, which has little or no
blue in it.

It is of course not hardy here, though Phil implied it was in New Orleans,
but overwinters quite well in a greenhouse if one doesn't mind the odd
seedlings which occur in nearby (and some not so nearby) pots. The pods
eject their seeds quite as forcefully as the Ruellias I have locally.

Thanks for any help anyone can offer on either question.


-- Steve Marak
-- samarak@arachne.uark.edu

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