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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
  • 'Angel Wings'
    White flowers with a hint of fragrance
  • 'Bright Eyes'
    All white flowers
  • 'Suzie Orange'
    Bright orange flowers
'African Sunset', 'Angel Wings', 'Bright Eyes', 'Suzie Orange'
Tags:
#hummingbirds#evergreen#showy flowers#houseplant#wildlife plant#weedy#nectar plant#interiorscape#fences#trellises#twining#tropical vine#pollinator plant#patio planting#butterfly friendly#arbor#bee friendly#tropical feel#container plant
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'African Sunset'
    Cream to brick red flowers
  • 'Angel Wings'
    White flowers with a hint of fragrance
  • 'Bright Eyes'
    All white flowers
  • 'Suzie Orange'
    Bright orange flowers
'African Sunset', 'Angel Wings', 'Bright Eyes', 'Suzie Orange'
Tags:
#hummingbirds#evergreen#showy flowers#houseplant#wildlife plant#weedy#nectar plant#interiorscape#fences#trellises#twining#tropical vine#pollinator plant#patio planting#butterfly friendly#arbor#bee friendly#tropical feel#container plant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Thunbergia
    Species:
    alata
    Family:
    Acanthaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Perennial
    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
    Texture:
    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
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    10b, 10a, 11b, 11a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Cream/Tan
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Description:
    The fruit develops inside the green bracts of the flower maturing to a tan color. and are slightly hairy. Fruits contain 2-4 semicircular, 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.
  • 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 Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Hanging Baskets
    Houseplants
    Patio
    Vertical Spaces
    Landscape Theme:
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Screen/Privacy
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Hummingbirds
    Problems:
    Weedy