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Thunbergia Thunbergia alata

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
thun-BER-jee-uh a-LAY-tuh
Description

Black-eyed Susan vine is a showy tropical tender evergreen that is best grown as an annual and replaced each year.  Dispite its common name, it has no relation to black-eye Susans (Rudbeckia hirta) Plant in full sun with some afternoon shade, in rich, medium moisture, well-drained soils.  As a twining vine, it does best with support so plant near an arbor, trellis or fence, or consider admiring its trailing habit cascading from a hanging basket. It can twine among existing plant becoming a groundcover but can be more difficult to maintain this way.  It grows from seeds or stem cuttings and because it reseeds itself easily and in frost-free areas, it can be weedy.  If you would like to keep the plants overwinter, plant them in containers that can be moved indoors.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  No serious problems.  Indoor plants can suffer from spider mites, scale, or white flies.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'African Sunset'
    Cream to brick red flowers
  • 'Bright Eyes'
    All white flowers
  • 'Suzie Orange'
    Bright orange flowers
'African Sunset', 'Bright Eyes', 'Suzie Orange'
Tags:
#bees#hummingbirds#evergreen#showy flowers#yellow#houseplant#orange#container plant#wildlife plant#weedy#nectar plant#interiorscape#fences#trellises#twining#arbors#tropical vine#pollinator plant#patio planting#butterfly friendly#tropical feel
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'African Sunset'
    Cream to brick red flowers
  • 'Bright Eyes'
    All white flowers
  • 'Suzie Orange'
    Bright orange flowers
'African Sunset', 'Bright Eyes', 'Suzie Orange'
Tags:
#bees#hummingbirds#evergreen#showy flowers#yellow#houseplant#orange#container plant#wildlife plant#weedy#nectar plant#interiorscape#fences#trellises#twining#arbors#tropical vine#pollinator plant#patio planting#butterfly friendly#tropical feel
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Thunbergia
    Species:
    alata
    Family:
    Acanthaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Tropical & S. Africa, Madagascar
    Wildlife Value:
    Butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds visit the flowers for nectar.
    Climbing Method:
    Twining
    Dimensions:
    Height: 3 ft. 0 in. - 8 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 3 ft. 0 in. - 6 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Annual
    Ground Cover
    Vine
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Cascading
    Climbing
    Spreading
    Maintenance:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Available Space To Plant:
    3 feet-6 feet
    6-feet-12 feet
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Cream/Tan
    Fruit Description:
    The fruit develops inside the green bracts of the flower maturing to a tan color. Fruits contain 2-4 semicericular, reticulate seeds.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Orange
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Head
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Long Bloom Season
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Spring
    Flower Shape:
    Trumpet
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Bracts
    fused petals
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    Orange to yellow flowers with dark brown-maroon throats 1 1/2" across 5 petals. Blooms summer through fall but best blooms are when the hottest part of summer is over. Can find different cultivar with other flower colors like white, light yellow, and sulpher yellow.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Soft
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Cordate
    Deltoid
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Dentate
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Soft, hairy, triangular to heart-shaped or ovate, slightly toothed leaves 3" long with winged petioles. The upper surface is dull dark greena and underneath is pale with visable veining.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Hanging Baskets
    Houseplants
    Patio
    Vertical Spaces
    Landscape Theme:
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Screen/Privacy
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Hummingbirds
    Problems:
    Weedy