pe·​tu·​nia | \ pi-ˈtün-yə How to pronounce petunia (audio) , -ˈtyün-\

Definition of petunia

: any of a genus (Petunia) of tropical South American herbs of the nightshade family that are commonly grown as annuals for their fragrant, colorful, trumpet-shaped flowers

Illustration of petunia

Illustration of petunia

Examples of petunia in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

They're found on potatoes, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, eggplant, and petunias throughout North America. The Editors, Good Housekeeping, "The 10 Most Destructive Garden Insects and How to Get Rid of Them," 10 July 2018 Rabbits love to munch on everything from broccoli and beans to pansies and petunias. Jill Gleeson, Country Living, "How to Keep Rabbits Out of Your Garden," 30 Jan. 2019 By artificially enhancing the strigolactone within these plants, the petunias were able to bloom. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "An Alliance of Plants and Fungus Could Be the Key to Farming in Space," 19 Oct. 2018 Petunia Starting petunias from seed opens the door to a wide world of beautiful, tubular flowers in shades ranging from striking magenta to subdued lavender to pure white. The Editors Of Organic Life, Good Housekeeping, "13 Annual Flowers You Can Easily Grow From Seeds," 2 June 2016 There's difficulty to this process: Microgravity affects mycorrhization and reducing how much protein the petunias could accept. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "An Alliance of Plants and Fungus Could Be the Key to Farming in Space," 19 Oct. 2018 The Proven Winners brand demonstrates this in one such recipe, with two plants of a yellow bidens, two plants of a rose-pink calibrachoa and one deep-purple petunia planted in a 16-inch pot. Adrian Higgins, sacbee, "Container culture – these pots do lots | The Sacramento Bee," 11 May 2018 Supertunia Royal Velvet, Red or White petunias are good selections. Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp, Indianapolis Star, "The Hoosier Gardener: Plant your red, white and blue," 3 July 2018 Hot pink is the color of tropical Key West, from the garish bougainvillea spilling over every fence and wall to the petunias and hibiscus in its lush gardens to the houses and buildings themselves, gaily painted in every shade of pink. Lee Smith, Southern Living, "WATCH: Memories of My Summer of 1958 in Paradise," 19 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'petunia.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of petunia

1825, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for petunia

New Latin, from obsolete French petun tobacco, from Tupi petɨ́ma

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about petunia

Dictionary Entries near petunia





petunia violet



Statistics for petunia

Last Updated

24 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for petunia

The first known use of petunia was in 1825

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for petunia



English Language Learners Definition of petunia

: a plant that has colorful flowers which are shaped like funnels


pe·​tu·​nia | \ pə-ˈtü-nyə How to pronounce petunia (audio) , -ˈtyü-\

Kids Definition of petunia

: a plant grown for its brightly colored flowers that are shaped like funnels

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on petunia

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with petunia

Spanish Central: Translation of petunia

Nglish: Translation of petunia for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about petunia

Comments on petunia

What made you want to look up petunia? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


having no equal

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!