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Thunbergia alata

Family: Acanthaceae (Acanthus family)

Common names: Black-eyed Susan (E); isiPhondo (Z); Swartoognooi (A);

Native to: Southern Africa
Climber, Groundcover

Thunbergia alata

SEMI-DECIDUOUS

FULL SUN

SEMI-SHADE

SEMI FROST HARDY

MEDIUM WATER REQUIREMENTS

FAST GROWER

ATTRACTS BIRDS

ATTRACTS INSECTS

FLOWER COLOUR:

AVERAGE SIZE:

3m x 1m
FLOWERING TIME:
J F M A M J J A S O N D
FRUITING TIME:
J F M A M J J A S O N D

Thunbergia alata

DESCRIPTION
This is a fast-growing creeper with small, slightly hairy, heart-shaped leaves.  It bears masses of flowers which are orange-yellow trumpet-shaped with a black throat.  The plant frequently dies down during winter but rapidly grows out again in spring.
There are creamy-white flowered forms available as well.
NATURAL HABITAT & DISTRIBUTION
Forest margins.
WILDLIFE & ECOLOGICAL BENEFITS
Thunbergia alata is a host plant to two moth species as well as the Eyed Pansy butterfly.
The flowers attract bees.
WATER REQUIREMENTS
Water regularly in summer.
MAINTENANCE
Mulch well and water regularly in summer. Prune plant back if damaged by frost – it will recover in spring.
LANDSCAPING USES
Allow the plant to climb up trees to provide additional screening.
Mass plant it on a stream bank to form an attractive groundcover.
Plant in a large container on a sunny patio – remember to use a trellis to support it.
The plant can be used to hide ugly construction work or to cover a dead tree.
GARDEN THEMES
Bushveld, Woodland
FLOWERS
The orange or yellow flowers are trumpet-shaped with a black throat.
FOLIAGE
The delicate leaves are mid-green, heart-shaped and covered in fine hairs.
BUTTERFLY/MOTH HOST PLANT
Junonia orithya (Eyed Pansy)
CULTIVATION
Propogate from seed.

4 Responses

  1. Hi Graham

    Thanks for visiting Plantbook.

    Many nurseries don’t have them on display or for sale in winter as they tend to die back in the colder months and may not look attractive in their bags.

    Perhaps start searching again in spring.

    Flourish!
    Glenice

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