pe·​tu·​nia pi-ˈtün-yə How to pronounce petunia (audio)
: 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

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web This vigorous petunia works as both a filler and spiller in containers, with stems that can trail up to 30 inches by the end of the season. Sheryl Geerts, Better Homes & Gardens, 23 Aug. 2022 The researchers investigated CitPH1 and CitPH5, the citrus versions of these petunia genes. Charles Choi, Discover Magazine, 26 Feb. 2019 This petunia variety is also a sure bet tucked among perennials in your backyard flower borders. Sheryl Geerts, Better Homes & Gardens, 23 Aug. 2022 Replacing lawn grass with the usual ground covers such as Asian jasmine, dwarf Mexican petunia or mondo grass is a good way to deal with shade, save water and reduce the amount of work required to maintain the landscape. Calvin Finch, San Antonio Express-News, 28 Oct. 2022 With its white starry speckles, this gorgeous purple petunia is nothing short of otherworldly. Andrea Beck, Better Homes & Gardens, 2 Aug. 2022 Technically a tender perennial, many modern petunia hybrids are now grown as annuals in all USDA Plant Hardiness Zones. Terri Robertson, Country Living, 21 June 2022 This new petunia, in the Vista Series, is a vibrant fuchsia/purple, Butson said. Joanne Kempinger Demski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 24 Mar. 2022 Placing one petunia in the middle and three around the sides gives a quicker full basket of foliage and blooms but at much greater cost. Tom Maccubbin,, 13 Nov. 2021 See More

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.

Word History


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

First Known Use

1825, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of petunia was in 1825

Dictionary Entries Near petunia

Cite this Entry

“Petunia.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


pe·​tu·​nia pi-ˈt(y)ün-yə How to pronounce petunia (audio)
: any of a genus of tropical South American herbs of the nightshade family widely grown for their showy funnel-shaped flowers

More from Merriam-Webster on petunia

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