petunia

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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 Polemoniales, family Solanaceae.

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pe·tu·nia / pəˈt(y)oōnyə/ • n. a plant (Petunia × hybrida) of the nightshade family with brightly colored funnel-shaped flowers. Native to tropical America, it has been widely developed as an ornamental hybrid, with numerous varieties.

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petunia Genus of flowering plants of the nightshade family that originated in Argentina, and the common name for any of the varieties that are popular bedding plants. Most varieties derive from the white flowered P. axillaris and the violet-red P. integrifolia; they may be erect, shrubby, or pendant. The bell-shaped flowers have five petals and may be almost any colour. Family Solanaceae.

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petunia XIX. — modL., f. F. petun tobacco (also in Eng. use XVI—XVII) — Guarani petȳ; see -IA1.

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